Dr.ing. S. (Soham) Adla

Dr.ing. S. (Soham) Adla


In my doctoral research, I was involved in developing a framework (and an open-source, easy-to-use tool) to quantify farm-level performance to assist advisors in developing more data-based, customized agricultural advisories. With technical support from Kritsnam Technologies, we conducted laboratory experiments to calibrate and test low-cost soil moisture sensors. We then combined data from these sensors with crop growth modelling in a spring wheat growth field experiment in Kanpur (India), to simulate improved field-scale water use efficiencies.

I have also been involved in the participatory groundwater management program of the NGO Samaj Pragati Sahayog in a groundwater depleted zone in central India (Dewas, Madhya Pradesh). I worked with a team of ‘barefoot water managers’ (water management experts from the local community) and was involved in training them to facilitate water saving measures through transdisciplinary, community-based approaches. I have also worked with hydrological modelling and the hydrological effects of landuse change by the aggressive invasive alien species, Parthenium hysterophorus.

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In my current role, we are investigating the obstacles to wide-scale diffusion of water efficient irrigation techniques among smallholder farmers in the drought prone, cotton growing region of Vidarbha (Maharashtra, India). This involves providing the relevant agricultural information as well as steering farmer behaviour through advisories towards adoption of these techniques. A socio-hydrological approach is being used to understand the factors which influence farmer decision making, behavioural change and adoption of interventions.

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Academische achtergrond

I have a background in Civil Engineering and my research focus is on agricultural water management, particularly in the context of smallholder farmers. I undertook my Bachelor’s and Master’s education at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (India). My Master’s research was carried out with the Hydraulics and Water Resources Engineering Group at IIT Kanpur. My PhD research was conducted at the Chair of Hydrology and River Basin Management at the Technical University of Munich (Germany). I have been associated with Kritsnam Technologies Pvt. Ltd. in their efforts for real-time smart water monitoring solutions. I have also had some experience with participatory groundwater management challenges and strategies in rural India, with the NGO Samaj Pragati Sahayog. I am a member of the German Hydrological Society and the Indian Youth Water Network. My other interests include science communication and stakeholder engagement.

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