Use of remote sensing and GIS for identifying tanks and rehabilitation benefits to the rural areas

Water storage is crucial for water security (WS) in countries with monsoon-driven climates. Tanks significantly contribute to WS by augmenting water supply to agricultural production in parts of south and Southeast Asia. The present paper assesses the potential locations of small tanks for rehabilitation to enhance WS. The Bhadrachalam catchment from the Godavari river basin, India was selected for the study. Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems techniques were used to identify the small tanks and water spread areas for augmenting storage. The cost -benefit analysis was also carried out for the identified tanks with various scenarios, cropping pattern and management options. The returns from desiliting, increase in area under the tank command with paddy and cotton crops are found to be beneficial. It concludes that rehabilitation of small tanks should be considered a priority investment as it will not only enhance WS and financial benefits to local communities, but also augment river flows in the non-monsoon season.