The Telangana irrigation department has started utilising satellite technology for better usage of the irrigation system. The state is of the view that employing new trends in satellite technology will be useful in protecting the irrigation network. After signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) last year, the irrigation department found that it had a vast irrigation network with accurate figures, The New Indian Express reported.
According to the latest information available through satellite photographs, the total length of all the 8,177 canals in the state is 22,700 km. The canals fall under all projects —major, medium and minor.
Officials recorded the details of major projects, distributary canals, the status of canals and the flow of water and others, by using satellite data. Now, officials are planning to record project-wise and canal-wise crop details too, which was never the practice earlier.
In another major advancement, the Telangana irrigation department has geo-tagged 43,000 minor irrigation tanks across the state. The details of village-wise water bodies, irrigation facilities available and other irrigation and agriculture related information is also being recorded through satellites, Telangana Irrigation Minister, T Harish Rao has reportedly said to the news portal. “This is a revolution in the irrigation sector. Telangana is the first state in the country to record the data of irrigation network through satellite pictures. The recorded data will be analysed for taking effective measures for the betterment of the agricultural sector,” Rao stated.
With this latest information and satellite photos, the department would know the water availability across the state instantly, he added.
In the lack of irrigation facilities, over 50% of agriculture in Telangana is rainfed. The use of satellite technology is expected to help the state utilise water in an efficient manner. The state gets 90.6 cm annual average rainfall. It make critical for the government and the farmers to use water in efficiently. The new technological advancement in irrigation will help spread irrigation facilities in the rainfed areas too. In the long run, the development will reduce farmers’ spending on irrigation while increase their income.