Farm pond [India]

krushi honda (Kannada)

technologies_1474 - India

Completeness: 76%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Benson Roland

Danida KWDP Bijapur


SLM specialist:

Mujibur Rahman Syed

Danida KWDP Bijapur


SLM specialist:


KWDP Daida Bijapur


Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Danida assisted Karnataka Watershed Development Project, Bijapur (Danida assisted Karnataka Watershed Development Project, Bijapur) - India

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.5 Reference to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Approaches (documented using WOCAT)

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

A sunken structure (12 x 12 x 3 m, more suiable), constructed by escavation in arable land with a view of temporary runoff storage tapped for protective irrigation, and to increase percolation for recharge of ground water (to convert surface to subsurface flow)

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


A farm pond comprises of excavated portions of 12 x 12 x 3 m with the steps at 0.6m depth each. The excavated earth is deposited all around the structure as a bund, with a burm space of 1m. An inlet cum outlet provided in the course of flow of rain water to collect and dispose the excess runoff.

Purpose of the Technology: (1). For storage of exess runoff. (2) to increase percolation for ground water recharge, (3). To use for protective irrigation during dry period, (4). To stop further deepening of watercourse in arable lands

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: Selection of beneficiary is by the community and site selection, Design/ layout and excavation by the project staff with participation of the beneficiary. Desilting of the structure is by the beneficiary

Natural / human environment: surrounding lands are more slopy and with exposed rocks, most of the surrounding area is left for grazing

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:


Further specification of location:

Bijapur district, Hadalsang village

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If the Technology is evenly spread over an area, specify area covered (in km2):


If precise area is not known, indicate approximate area covered:
  • < 0.1 km2 (10 ha)

Total area covered by the SLM Technology is 0.028 km2.

The technology area comprising of 2.8 ha within the overall watershed area of 2458 ha. The technology is useful in harvesting the excess rainwater in the arable land and re-use the for protective irigation after the rainy period.

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through projects/ external interventions
Comments (type of project, etc.):

Department of Agriculture, Govet. Of Karnataka

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • conserve ecosystem
  • adapt to climate change/ extremes and its impacts

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied



  • Annual cropping
Annual cropping - Specify crops:
  • cereals - sorghum
  • legumes and pulses - other
  • oilseed crops - castor
  • Chili, brinjal (eggplants), lady's finger (okra, kind of peas)
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 2

Longest growing period in days: 120 Longest growing period from month to month: Sep - Dec Second longest growing period in days: 90 Second longest growing period from month to month: Jul - Sep


Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): The lands are very undulating (Class-V as per the Land Capability Classification), with very shallow soils, feasible for only one rainfed crops.

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): Poor yields due to shallow soils that too only one crop in one season, undulating lands leading to more runoff.

Type of cropping system and major crops comments: minor pulses - cereals (green gram-jowar)

Constraints of wastelands / deserts / glaciers / swamps: Highly eroded, unsuitable for any production purposes.

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

Water supply: Also mixed rainfed - irrigated (ranked 2)

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • water harvesting
  • irrigation management (incl. water supply, drainage)

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
  • Wg: gully erosion/ gullying
  • Wo: offsite degradation effects

Main type of degradation addressed: Wt: loss of topsoil / surface erosion

Secondary types of degradation addressed: Wg: gully erosion / gullying, Wo: offsite degradation effects

Main causes of degradation: other natural causes (avalanches, volcanic eruptions, mud flows, highly susceptible natural resources, extreme topography, etc.) specify, poverty / wealth (lack of captial)

Secondary causes of degradation: other human induced causes (specify) (other (migration)), labour availability (lack of labour, cost of labour), education, access to knowledge and support services (lack of knowledge)

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • prevent land degradation
  • reduce land degradation

Main goals: mitigation / reduction of land degradation

Secondary goals: prevention of land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

The drawing showing the details of the farm pond. 12 x 12 x 3 m dimension. Five steps cutting on each side with 1:1 side slope. 1m birm (space) between the earthen bund. 1m wide spilway inlet cum outlet at suitable place of the site.

Location: Kallahalla nala watershed, Indi Taluk. Bijapur district of Karnataka state

Date: 20.4.2004

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: moderate

Technical knowledge required for land users: high

Main technical functions: water harvesting / increase water supply

Secondary technical functions: increase of infiltration, increase / maintain water stored in soil

Structural measure: sediment sand / trap
Depth of ditches/pits/dams (m): 3
Width of ditches/pits/dams (m): 15
Length of ditches/pits/dams (m): 15
Height of bunds/banks/others (m): 1
Width of bunds/banks/others (m): 1
Length of bunds/banks/others (m): 15

Construction material (earth): soil excavated from the pond is used to for bunds all around the structure with 1 m birm space.

Construction material (stone): The spillway Inlet cum Outlet is constructed using stones

For water harvesting: the ratio between the area where the harvested water is applied and the total area from which water is collected is: 1:7

Vegetation is used for stabilisation of structures.


C.G Metri, JPO, KWDP Danida Bi

4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

other/ national currency (specify):


If relevant, indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (e.g. 1 USD = 79.9 Brazilian Real): 1 USD =:


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:


4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. selection of site and survey, preparation of estimates summer
2. submission for sanction of approval summer
3. Excavation of the farmpond summer
4. construction of inlet/ outlet before monsoon starts

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Labour ha 1.0 360.0 360.0 10.0
Construction material Stone ha 1.0 109.43 109.43 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 469.43
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 10.21

Duration of establishment phase: 0 month(s)

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Meeting with the farmer monsoon/annual
2. Desilting of farmpond summer season/once in 2 years
3. Repair of Inlet/Outlet summer season/Every year
4. Trimming of Bund summer season/Every year

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Labour ha 1.0 7.3 7.3 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 7.3
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 0.16

12 m x 12 m x 3 m size with all side slope of 1:1 (five steps of 0.6 m deep), Inlet cum outlet spilway constructed with stones. This indicates only the actual cost of construction. (excavation / earth wotk and stone work for inlet/outlet)

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

If the implementation site is having the hard strata, then the cost will be more.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specify average annual rainfall (if known), in mm:


Agro-climatic zone
  • semi-arid

Located on the latitude 16-49'N and longitude 75-43'E .Characterised by hot dry summer (42 °C) and cold dry winters monsoon (July-September) is characterised by high intensity showers followed by pro

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Comments and further specifications on topography:

Altitudinal zone: 501-1000 m a.s.l. (594 m a.s.l.)
Slopes on average: Gentle (ridge and valley portion)

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • low (<1%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

Soil depth on average: Shallow (30 cm)
Soil texture: Medium (medium in valley portion)
Soil fertility: Low (along the slope of the ridge, ranked 1) and medium (valley portion, ranked 2)
Topsoil organic matter: Low (in valley portion)
Soil water storage capacity: Low (hill portion, ranked 1) and medium (valley portion, ranked 2)

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial)
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • poor
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Population density: 100-200 persons/km2
Annual population growth: 3% - 4%
15% of the land users are very rich and own 5% of the land.
25% of the land users are rich and own 20% of the land.
50% of the land users are average wealthy and own 50% of the land.
10% of the land users are poor and own 15% of the land.
and own 10% of the land.
Off-farm income specification: Through sheep and goat rearing
Level of mechanization: Animal traction, (ranked 1, for ploughing, seed sowing harrowing), manual work (ranked 2, clod crushing, harvesting, threashing) and mechanised (ranked 3, Deep ploughing, levelling)

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha

Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology:
1-2 ha (ranked 1, marginal farmers [since the land holding decreases because of the fractionation the production and productivity also reduces])
2-5 ha (ranked 2, small farmers)
5-15 ha (ranked 3, big famers)

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, titled
Land use rights:
  • individual

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


crop production

Comments/ specify:

Second crop also taken

fodder production

Comments/ specify:

From trees

fodder quality

Comments/ specify:

From trees

product diversity

Comments/ specify:

Difference in the crop like on bunds and in the patches of crops.

production area

Comments/ specify:

15m x 15m land loss average land holding is very less, thus small & marginal farmers face reduction in the production area with this SWC

land management

Comments/ specify:

After implementing SWC less area is left for very small and marginal land holding.

Water availability and quality

water availability for livestock

Income and costs

farm income

Comments/ specify:

Subsistance agriculture

Other socio-economic impacts

Input constraints

Comments/ specify:

To bring new area into cultivation

Socio-cultural impacts

SLM/ land degradation knowledge


Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

excess water drainage


soil moisture


soil cover


soil loss

Other ecological impacts

Soil fertility


6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

reliable and stable stream flows in dry season


downstream flooding

Comments/ specify:

Water storage in farm pond

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:


How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:


6.5 Adoption of the Technology


There is a little trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

Comments on adoption trend: The community is motivated with the benefits from this SWC structure. Some of them have already deepened the farmponds to increase its storage capacity.However, since most of the farmers are having very small land holdings and there was continous dry season from last three years, even if the farmers are motivated and aware of the technology of farmpond, they could not take up on their own (without financial assistance from the project.

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Increased storage of water

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Desilting by the farmer
Reduce gully formation
Bring more area under irrigation

How can they be sustained / enhanced? By giving life saving irrigation
Economic benefits

How can they be sustained / enhanced? By yields (monocropping to multiple cropping) --> more income
Recycle the silt is beneficial

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Other the silt would been lost every year and it is good to retain the soil fertility.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Storage of water

How can they be sustained / enhanced? By deepening
Reduced runoff velocity

How can they be sustained / enhanced? By mentainance
Breaching of bunds down stream

How can they be sustained / enhanced? By reducing the run-off

How can they be sustained / enhanced? if a famer has his own labour/ man power then he can go for its construction.
Water harvesting

How can they be sustained / enhanced? recycle for protective irrigation during peak season.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Inability to contribute 100% towards cost of construction. By giving schemes / financial assistance
Loosing of portion of cultivable land By utilizing bunds, change in cropping system/ cropping pattern etc.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Difficult to excavate in hard strata can be done in shallow soils
Silt accumulation, if upper catchment is not treated Treatment of upper catchment

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Department Guidelines,Project Implementation plan, UAS Dharwad

Available from where? Costs?

In the office, personal contact

Title, author, year, ISBN:


Available from where? Costs?

in the office

Title, author, year, ISBN:

University of Agril. Sciences Dharwad

Available from where? Costs?

personal contact

Links and modules

Expand all Collapse all