The sustainability of Suranga irrigation in South Karnataka and northern Kerala, India
Jones, R. T.
This paper reports the preliminary findings from an on-going research project that is exploring the resilience and sustainability of suranga irrigation technology found in the Western Ghats of south Karnataka and northern Kerala, India. The suranga are traditional adit water harvesting systems that tap ground waters. They have been constructed mainly by individual land owners to provide both drinking and irrigation water. This paper compares traditional suranga irrigation technology with that of more modern irrigation technology, first introduced during the green revolution, in terms of their impacts on livelihood strategies and water use efficiency. The paper also describes some of the recent adaptations made by farmers to suranga systems based on response to new crop growing opportunities and the availability of new conveyance and distribution technologies and materials. The paper concludes by exploring the resilience and sustainability of the traditional system from a catchment based perspective as the region faces the duel pressures of population increase and climate change.