Palakkad district is blessed with irrigation facilities. Dams have been constructed across almost all the important tributaries of the Bharathapuzha to provide irrigation facilities to the district. Six out of the ten completed irrigation projects of Kerala are in Palakkad district. They are Walayar, Malampuzha, Cheerakuzhi, Gayathri (Meenkara, Chulliar), Malnagalam and Pothundy. The toatal ayacut of all these completed projects is 77,306 hectares. In addition to this, the construction of two major irrigation projects, viz., Chitturpuzha and Kanhirapuzha are in progress. The total ayacut of these projects is 54,200 hectares.
This dam is constructed across the river Walayar, a tributary of Bharathapuzha, The ayacut is 6476 hectares. This project was started in 1953, partially commissioned in 1956 and completed in 1964.
The Malampuzha dam is a 6,066 ft. masonry structure built across Malampuzha, a tributary of Bharathapuzha, with a net – work of canal systems. It has an ayacut of 42,090 hectares. The dam and reservoir are located about eight kilometers from Olavakode railway station and 13kms. from Palakkad town. The project was started in 1949and commissioned in 1955. Having a catchments area of 145 sq.kms., the reservoir has a capacity of 8000m.e.ft.of water. There are two canal systems. The left back canal traverses a distance of 32 kms. to irrigate cultivable areas in the taluks of Palakkad, Chittur and Alathur. The right bank canal with a length of 32kms. irrigates areas in Palakkad taluk. The reservoir also provides drinking water to Palakkad town.
Gayathri Project (Meenkara – Chulliar Dams):
This project consists of two storage reservoirs; Meenkara dam across the Meenkara river and Chulliar dam across Chulliar river. Both these rivers are tributaries of Bharathapuzha. There is a net work of canal systems with a total ayacut of 10,930 hectares of land in Chittur taluk. The first stage of the projects, viz.,dam across Meemnkara river with canals,was sanctioned in 1956 and opened for irrigation in 1960. The total cost of the project is Rs.220 lakhs.
This dam is constructed across the Cherukunnapuzha, a tributary of Mangalam river. There is a canal system with an ayacut of 6,880 hectares, in Alathur taluk. The project and left bank canal were completed and opened in 1956. Further extension of the right bank canal was continued and the project was fully completed in 1966.
This dam is constructed across the tributaries of the Ayalur river ( sub-tributary of Bharathapuzha), namely, Meenchadypuzha and Padipuzha. It has an ayacut of 19,930 hectares in Chittur and Alathur taluks. The Project, started in 1958, has been completed and commissioned.
The Chitturpuzha Project envisages extension of irrigation facilities to an additional area of 9,200 hectares by remodeling and reconstructing, wherever necessary, of the four ayacuts in Chitturpuzha and the existing canal system. The ayacuts at Moolathara, Thembaramadakku, Kunnakattupathy and Narnee. The total ayacut will be 32,400 hectares.
This project on completion will provide irrigation facilities to an area of 9,720 hectares. This is being constructed across Kanhirapuzha, a sub-tributary of Bharathapuzha. An expansion programme of the scheme by constructing a reservoir across the Thuppanadupuzha is also on the anvil. This will benefit an additional area of 4700 hectares in Ottapalam taluk. The total ayacut of the project will be 21,800 hectares.
The Attapady Valley Irrigation Project is under construction to provide irrigation facilities to 12,140 hectares.