Many rural poor people in developing countries depend on agriculture and are highly influenced by climatic change. Hence, sustainable livelihood approaches are used at both policy and project level to initiate new poverty reduction activities and modify existing activities to improve livelihood incomes.

The second report in GSI's series measuring irrigation subsidies provides the starting point for a debate on the use of irrigation subsidies in India. Subsidies to irrigated agriculture in major irrigation projects in just the four south Indian states (Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala) were conservatively estimated at US$575 million per year from 2004 to 2008.

The concept of integrated and participatory watershed management has emerged as the cornerstone of rural development in the dry, semi-arid and other rainfed regions of the world. Most watershed projects in India are implemented with the twin objectives of soil and water conservation and enhancing the livelihoods of the rural poor.

Tank irrigation accounts for more than one-third of total irrigated area in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states in India. Tank water supplies fluctuate randomly from year to year and within a year.