Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, India
Rajendra Subudhi is an associate professor at Odisha University of agricultural technology, Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He holds a M.Tech (Water Resources Development and Management) degree from IIT Kharagpur. He is also a recipient of Bharat Jyoti Award and Best citizenship of India for the year 2013 as well as many international and national awards.
Four tanks with full storage capacity of 11.31 cubic meters were excavated at Sudreju village of Kandhamal district of Orissa near Dryland Research Station, Phulbani during 2003-2005 and were lined by soil cement mortar (6:1) of 6 cm & 8 cm thickness, concrete plaster (8:4:1) 4 cm thickness and fourth was unlined. Observations on seepage loss were recorded in all the tanks. The unlined tank had seepage loss of 936 lit/day. Observations from three other lined tanks indicated that seepage loss was 78.15 lit/day in soil cement ( 6:1) mortar 6 cm, 12.26 lit/day in soil cement ( 6:1) mortar 8 cm thickness & seepage loss was 39.48 lit/day in concrete plaster (8:4:1) 4 cm thickness. The cost of construction of the soil cement (6cm) lined tank (Rs. 1950/-) was nearly 21 percent cheaper than that of soil cement (8cm) lined tank (Rs. 2362/-). The economic loss due to seepage was lowest (2.03Rs/day) in soil cement (6:1) mortar 8 cm thickness. Thus soil cement (6:1) mortar 8 cm thickness are economical in all respects and are the only means of storing water in the laterite regions of Orissa.
Orissa comes under high rainfall region of the country. It receives annually an average rainfall of 1500 mm. nearly 40 percent of it is lost through deep percolation and is never available to crops. Porous soil accelerates the movement of underground water. The district of Kandhamal is centrally located plateau and mostly comprises of red laterite soil whose retentive capacity is very poor and seepage loss is very high. The district has the irrigation potential of only 10 percent of the total cropped area. It receives an average annual rainfall of 1393 mm. The farmers grow a single crop in a year due to lack of irrigation water. The water table is very deep. Most of the lands are undulating. Nearly 80 percent of the cropped area belongs to high lands. Under such situation tank irrigation is an imperative means for water resource development. The limiting factor to such water resource development is the seepage loss.