Water is one of the most precious natural resources after soil and these two resources provide the foundation for food, nutritional and livelihood security. The declining per capita water availability coupled with degrading land and water resources pose serious challenge to humanity and underscore the need for protection and efficient management. Multiple use of water is one option which has the potential to meet future demand for increasing productivity in the long term.
From agricultural point of view, multiple uses of water may be made in various production systems e.g. crops, horticulture, forests, fishery, livestock, poultry, duckery, small scale industries, domestic are prominent water users of agriculture. These production system needs to utilize same water resource in an efficient way. It is a challenging task to improve the water productivity at the field level as well as at system or region level. The major aim of the multiple uses of water is:
* enhancing water productivity
* increasing farm productivity without any additional diversion of water
* enabling diversification to high value outputs
* reducing risk, better use of resources and increased resource use efficiency
* ensuring increased income and better flow of income throughout the year
* enabling better utilization of otherwise wasted/depleted water resources, water congested/waterlogged areas
However, the conventional system of water resource development do not consider the multiple uses while designing the system and hence, putting it in different uses at a later stage will certainly creates several problems such as pollution, wastage, waterlogging, etc. Hence, multiple uses have to be considered right from the planning stage.