Cities as irrigation systems: an Indian scenario

Growing Indian cities have the potential to support their peri-urban futures by providing irrigation water for food production. Over 9 million ha of land could be irrigated if the city waters are rendered safe for use. While the practice of peri-urban agriculture using city water is not a new phenomenon in India, its full potential has not been fully explored, due to poor/marginal quality and lack of adequate institutional arrangements and dialogue for its effective use. It is timely that inter-sectoral dialogue is focussed towards developing a well-integrated water development plan for cities, which includes irrigation water as well.