Watershed Management

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Society and Polity
Watershed Management - A Hope for Sustainable Development

Table of Contents
Integrated Watershed Management2
Categorization of Watersheds2
Need for Watershed Management:3
Characteristics of Watershed Management:3
Successful case of Watershed management in Maharashtra3
Approaches/methods used for people's participation4
Gandhian Approach4
Creation of a common platform4
Selfless leadership5
Identification of the most pressing common problem5
Achievements at Ralegan Siddhi5

Watershed Management: A Hope for Sustainable Development
A Watershed is defined as a topographically delineated geographical area in which the entire run-off tends to converge, through the existing drainage system, to the common outlet of the area for subsequent disposal. In other words, a watershed is an independent drainage unit. Integrated Watershed Management

It is the process of creating and implementing plans, programs, and projects to sustain and enhance watershed functions that affect the plant, animal, and human communities within a watershed boundary Categorization of Watersheds

Watersheds are categorized on the basis of the following criteria: * Based on Size: Based on size, the watersheds can be classified into micro, mini and large watersheds. The watersheds with area less than 500 ha are called as micro watersheds. The watersheds with area more than 500 ha but less than 2000 ha are called as mini watersheds. The watersheds with area more than 2000 ha are called as large watersheds. * Based on Drainage: Based on drainage, watersheds can be classified into drains and streams. Drains refer to the smaller water channels whereas streams refer to the larger water channels. * Based on Shape: Based on shape, watersheds can be classified into two types namely fan-shaped and fern-shaped. Fan shaped watersheds are those which are circular or nearly circular in shape. Fern shaped watersheds are those which are elongated in shape. * Based on Other Criteria: Watersheds can also be classified according to other factors viz. altitude (high watersheds and flat watersheds), moisture content (arid watersheds and wet watersheds), type of soil (black-soil watersheds and red-soil watersheds), etc. Need for Watershed Management:

Watersheds are an asset and therefore they need to be managed properly so that we are able to utilize them in the years to come. They act as a source of water for the people living in and around watershed areas. They help in maintaining the nutrients of the soil, thereby supporting the agriculture sector to give a sustained yield. They also act as a good source of irrigation for the fields throughout the year. Since they support vegetation, they also help in reducing soil erosion as the roots of the vegetation hold together the top layer of the fertile soil. They also help in the development of the forests as they act as good source of water for the forest flora and fauna. Objectives:

* Water has multiples uses and must be managed in an integrated way. * Water should be managed at the lowest appropriate level. * Water allocation should take account of the interests of all who are affected. * Water should be recognised and treated as an economic good.


* A long term, viable sustainable future for basin stake holders. * Equitable access to water resources for water users.
* The application of principles of demand management for efficient utilisation. * Prevention of further environmental degradation (short term) and the restoration of degraded resources (long term).

Characteristics of Watershed Management:
* Allowing an adequate supply of water that is sustainable over many years. * Maintains water quality at level that meets government standards and other social water quality objectives. * Allows sustainable...
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