West Bengal receives sustained rainfall due to its proximity to the Bay of Bengal yet we are unable to make full use of it due to some natural constraints. Rapid rise in demand of water in all sectors of domestic, industrial and agricultural uses during the last decade has started throwing up several problems in water resources management. So the optimal management of available Water Resources has become a major issues world over. Due to occurrence of recurrent droughts, advent of high yielding varieties and introduction of an incentive oriented agricultural pricing policy paved the way for irrigated agriculture. The Spatial and temporal variability of rainfall along high evapo-transpiration and runoff is posing a major challenge to the scientific community. As a result development of agriculture is essentially dependent on irrigation, not only in Rabi / Boro season but also in Khariff seasons in the event of drought or inadequate rainfall. Harnessing of Water Resources to meet various Sectoral requirements has been our prime concern, which is the foundation of our agricultural vis-à-vis economic growth and welfare of state. Water Resources are being utilized in the State from medium and major sized irrigation schemes whose culturable command area(C.C.A) above 2000 ha. and from minor irrigation schemes with the C.C.A up to 2000 ha. as per the criteria laid down by the Planning Commission, Govt of India.
Thus small and marginal farmers who constitute the majority of cultivators and cultivate major portion of agricultural land in West Bengal, can afford to individually invest on creation of irrigation sources. Therefore, with a view to boosting up agriculture production in a large scale and to promote rural economy, the policy of the government has been to create new sources and hand them over to the Beneficiary Committees through the Panchayat for their operation, maintenance, optimal use and overall management.
Water Resources Development Directorate is responsible for the development of existing potential of water resources available in the State through construction and maintenance of various types of MI schemes utilizing ground water as well as surface water resources.The schemes which are implemented by this directorate for development of water resources under M.I. sector may be categorized as below :