Programme to tackle water crisis in tea plantations

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on September 10, 2014

Involves water measurement through water-foot printing exercise

Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF), Solidaridad and the United Planters’ Association of Southern India (UPASI) have launched a water-efficiency programme to create sustainable supply chains across tea-growing districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The project involves developing an accurate water measurement mechanism through a practical and credible water-foot printing exercise. “In tea, we have requested UPASI to spearhead the programme,” said Kulbir Mehta, Senior Coordinator, Solidaridad.

Presenting a paper on “Efficient Water Usage” in the run-up to the 121{+s}{+t} Annual UPASI Conference in Coonoor on Monday, he said the programme with UPASI envisages designing sprinkler and drip irrigation systems, scheduling its round/ frequency and maintenance for tea estates in South India, studying the influence of different irrigation systems on productivity of tea using geographical information on hydrology at Nilgiris and Wayanad regions and propagating soil and water conservation techniques among others.

The partners to this programme are expecting to cover 62,000 hectares under tea in South India, train 92,000 workers on behavioural change towards practice, save approximately 2,620 million litres of water by enhancing water-use efficiency and create water harvesting potential of around 1,890 million litres.

The estimated water savings from various techniques such as sprinkler and drip irrigation, agronomical practices and rainwater harvesting will result in a total cumulative savings of not less than 13,530 million litres in three years, Mehta said.

Published on September 10, 2014

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