National Adaptation fund for Climate Change – Minor Irrigation Water Resources Department

SKOCH Award Nominee

Category: Other – State Department
Sub-Category: subOther – State Department
Project: National Adaptation fund for Climate Change
Start Date: 2015-12-28
Organisation: Minor Irrigation Water Resources Department
Respondent: Mr Laxmi Kanta Tripathy, Deputy Executive Engineer
Level: Premium Plus


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Case Study

National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change Project at Nuapada Odisha

Minor Irrigation, Water Resources Department


Except in Budhipalli, there was significant water scarcity in the area, therefore farmers built a temporary earthen dam in the stream to store water for cultivation on around 2 hectares of land on both banks of the Kharakhara river.

Farmers and villager’s native to the stream were forced to migrate outside of the state because the land they lived on had become unproductive. For decades, farmers were exploited to sell their land at throwaway prices. Farmers depend on rain for their cultivation and crop production, but because of climate change, they cannot harvest the minimum food grains they need for a sustainable livelihood. The local people were unable to provide for themselves in the absence of monoculture rain-fed paddy and food grains for the minimum nutritional requirement.


The availability of water in the stream was ensured by the construction of a series of check dams, which kept the water in flowing storage for a longer period of time. The water stored in the stream was used for crops by micro-irrigation methods, and was also provided for drinking and other social requirements. Solar energy sources have been deployed to reduce the cost of raising irrigation while also improving air quality by reducing the carbon footprint. The initiative supported the development of personal skills, the production of essential crops to ensure food security, and the long-term development of other livelihood measures to promote self-sufficiency. Diversification in agriculture has led to the availability of nutritious foods. The culture of vermicompost and Azola is widespread. For landless individuals, the project provided other livelihood options such as fishing, goat farming, duck farming and chicken farming.

As the implementing entity, the project was carried out by the Department of Water Resources and the Project Management Unit of the Minor Irrigation division. The Collector and District Magistrate, Nuapada, serves as Chairperson of the District Level Project Steering Committee, which is supported by technical teams functioning as the Executing Entity. The executing entity has received assistance from district-level departments of horticulture, agriculture, soil conservation, fishing, and OREDA, as well as the Krushi Vigyan Kendra in Nuapada.

NABARD, as the National Implementing Entity, took an active role in resolving concerns relating to external monitoring and fund management.

The project was carried out as the implementing entity by the Department of Water Resources and the Project Management Unit of the Minor Irrigation division. The Collector and District Magistrate of Nuapada leads the District Level Project Steering Committee, which is assisted by technical teams acting as the Executing Entity. District-level departments of horticulture, agriculture, soil conservation, fishery, and OREDA, as well as the Krushi Vigyan Kendra in Nuapada, have provided assistance to the executing entity. As the National Implementing Entity, NABARD played an active role in resolving concerns about external monitoring and fund management.


The dams built by the local farmers on the stream helped to increase the amount of water in the stream and the ground water, which helped to recharge the local wells. Controlling water supply through micro-irrigation brings the freedom to save water in multiple seasons. the crops of their choice throughout the year. Solar pumps used in this manner would have reduced carbon emissions. The barren, high-altitude lands that had previously been dry are now rich with the water needed for crops. The once improved water availability changed when roaming away from their homeland as bonded laborers returned to respectable farmers in their original land. 

237 ha of land are irrigated in six clusters by three check dams built under NAFCC. 103.52 hectares of land have been irrigated by two check dams built under the MATY plan; with the water stored in the check dam, farmers are developing fish culture in neighbouring ponds. Since the last five quarters, the farmers of 15 tanks have made a profit of 28 lakhs from fish cultivation by investing 4.65 lakhs. Protected orchards with fencing covering 49 acres have been built using a micro irrigation system coupled to a solar water pumping system. Migration for a living has ceased as they began cash crop production and used desolate sites for agriculture. Carbon dioxide emissions are minimized because solar-powered pumps lift water instead of diesel and kerosene pumps. 

Fish farming is now being practiced by all Panipanchayatas inside the Kharakhara nala. In eight communities, 29 new farm ponds have been installed for ground water recharge and integrated farming. These new water saving tanks will also offer fish growing facilities. Two Farmers Producer Organizations (FPOs) have been established, each with eight livelihood development machines. Market integration and production from these machines are about to begin. People are making a high profit from selling milk because of the availability of fodder.


Farmers who fled their homeland struggled to make their aspirations a reality until they saw them becoming reality. It was difficult to convince and create Water Users Associations (Pani-panchayats) before the completion of the project, but it was necessary to go through them to increase their potential. One of the most challenging issues was the repeated theft of pumps and other materials from the site. There were also problems with the complacency of local farmers. In addition, the extremely barren saline soil of the area was unsuitable for agriculture. 

Furthermore, seeing is believing was practically tested throughout implementation when farmers refused to participate in walkthroughs, listening to experts, or capacity development sessions. The installation of check dams and the rebirth of life in the stream prompted people to embrace the aim of water conservation.


The project’s innovation includes the utilization of solar-powered pumps for underground piped irrigation to serve nearly unproductive regions from a check dam built in an abandoned stream. Students and female members were also involved in mobilizing their families for participation in the dry land reformation to bring greenery. The community-accepted multi-sector livelihood routes suited to their capabilities were provided. Water storage in the stream causes an increase in soil moisture in the command area. The utilization of piped irrigation networks and micro-irrigation aids in expanding the command area. Farmers are also very self-motivated as a result of exposure visits, and they are interested in their economic development as a result of seeing the great goals.


In the water-scarce districts of Nuapada and Balangir, similar types of vulnerable sites have been identified near rivers named Sundar in Komna block, Arjuna nalla, Areda & Amlapalli nalla of Khariar Block, Ainlajore and Bartansila Nalla of Sinapalli block in Nuapada District; Bijlijore nall of Saintala block in Bolangir. In some of the proposed sites, the stored water can be lifted by establishing a megalift system to provide irrigation to high areas located more than 5 kilometres away. People can now visualise the change that occurred as a result of the intervention, making it easier to mobilise them to reproduce the strategy.

For more information, please contact:
Mr Laxmi Kanta Tripathy, Deputy Executive Engineer at

(The content on the page is provided by the Exhibitor)


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