A unique solar-powered lift micro-irrigation project in Punjab shows the way for efficient delivery of canal water.
By: Harish Damodaran, The Indian Expressed, published March 29, 2018
Raghvir Singh’s eight acre field is less than half a km from the Kandi Canal and just over 20 km from the Shah Nahar barrage of the Pong Dam on the River Beas.
Yet, this farmer from Kando Karora village in Mukerian tehsil of Hoshiarpur, till recently, had no access to water from the 130-km-long Canal, which is a branch of the Dam’s main Mukerian Hydel Channel. Nor was extraction of water by digging borewells possible, given that his field was at an
average 35 meter elevation relative to the canal and with also the presence of underground boulders.
But since October, Raghvir has actually started getting the Kandi Canal water, thanks to a solar-powered lift micro-irrigation project implemented by the Punjab government in 14 villages of Hoshiarpur district’s Talwara and Hajipur blocks.
The project basically takes water from the Canal by siphons at three locations or lifting points. This water is collected in sump-wells at the points and filtered to remove sand particles, algae and other impurities. From there, it is then “lifted” using solar-powered submersible pumps to irrigate farmers’ fields directly, or to secondary level sump-wells for further lifting to other villages/farms within the project’s command area. The project’s other unique feature is its being operated by a cloud-based software. “The system is designed to pump water for eight hours daily, while the requirement of farmers for cropping is for only 280-odd days.
Counting the remaining days of the year, plus the few hours even during the cropping season when the pumps aren’t running, we estimate roughly 25 per cent of surplus solar power
generation that could be exported to the grid and fund O&M (operation and maintenance) costs,” explains Sukhdeep Singh Duggal, senior engineer at Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd, which was awarded the contract to execute the project on turnkey basis.
Read more about this inspiring project in the full article HERE and watch the movie