watershed management

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WATER SHED MANAGEMENT (Special emphasis on soil and water conservation):

WATER SHED MANAGEMENT (Special emphasis on soil and water conservation) WRE-I UNIT- VIII Prof S S JAHAGIRDAR BE (CIVIL), ME(ENV.),PhD( persuing ) NK Orchid college of Engg. and Tech. , Solapur

Watershed: :

Watershed : Definition: “Watershed can be defined as a unit of area covers all the land which contributes runoff to a common point or outlet and surrounded by a ridge line”. Deterioration of watershed takes place due to faulty and bad management through the activity of man and his animals.

Causes of watershed Deterioration: :

Causes of watershed Deterioration: These activities are: Faulty agriculture, forestry and pasture (Grass land) management leading to degradation of land. Unscientific mining and quarrying. Faulty road alignment and construction. Industrialization Forest Fires Apathy (less interest) of the people.

Results of watershed Deterioration: :

Results of watershed Deterioration : Less production from agriculture, forests, grass lands etc. Erosion increases and decreases biomass production Rapid siltation of reservoirs, lakes and river beds. Less storage of water and lowering of water table. Poverty as a result of less food production.


WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT Possible range of treatment measures Contour bunding Contour trenching Contour stone walls Bench terraces Land levelling Summer ploughing

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Agro forestry with suitable species Vegetative barriers Check dams (Temporary and Permanent) Retaining walls Farm ponds and Percolation ponds Renovation of existing water bodies and inlet channels


COMPONENTS OF WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT: • Human Resource Development (Community Development) • Soil and Land Management • Water Management • Crop Management • Afforestation • Pasture/Fodder Development • Livestock Management • Rural Energy Management • Farm and non-farm value addition activities All these components are interdependent and interactive.

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Methods for hill slopes:




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Suitable erosion control in hills Adopted for hill slopes >20% Continuous or interrupted



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It helps to bring sloping land into different level strips to enable cultivation. It consists of construction of step like fields along contours by half cutting and half filling. Original slope is converted into level fields. The vertical and horizontal intervals are decided based land slope.

Methods for agricultural land:

Methods for agricultural land Check dam Percolation pond Micro catchments Contour bund Broad beds and furrows Gully plugs Tree plantation Summer ploughing Agro forestry Vegetative barriers Farm ponds

Check dam :

Check dam

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A low weir normally constructed across the gullies Constructed on small streams and long gullies formed by erosive activity of flood water It cuts the velocity and reduces erosive activity The stored water improves soil moisture of the adjoining area and allows percolation to recharge the aquifers Height depends on the bank height, varies from a 1 m to 3 m and length varies from less than 3m to 10m

 Percolation pond :

Percolation pond

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To improve the ground water recharge. Shallow depression created at lower portions in a natural or diverted stream course Located in soils of permeable nature Adaptable where 20-30 ground water wells for irrigation exist with in the zone of influence about 800 X 900 m

Micro catchments:

Micro catchments

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To conserve insitu moisture and reduce soil loss Circular basin of one meter dia for level lands depending upon infiltration and rainfall Ditches of size 5m x 5m with trees planted centre Saucer basins / semi circular bunds with 2m diameter to a height of 15-20cm across the slope

Broad beds and furrows :

Broad beds and furrows

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To control erosion and to conserve soil moisture in the soil during rainy days The broad bed and furrow system is laid within the field boundaries. Conserves soil moisture in dry land. Controls soil erosion. Acts as a drainage channel during heavy rainy days.

Contour bund :

Contour bund

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To intercept the runoff flowing down the slope by an embankment. It helps to control runoff velocity. It can be adopted in light and medium textured soils. It can be laid up to 6% slopes. It helps to retain moisture in the field.

Gully plugs:

Gully plugs

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Gully plug is one of the simple method of soil and water conservation. It plays an important role in soil and water conservation. Gullies are formed due to erosion of top soil by the flow of rain water. In course of time, a gully assumes a big shape and erosion goes on increasing. To prevent erosion, barriers or plugs of different types of material are put across the gully, at certain intervals.

Tree plantation:

Tree plantation Instead of uneconomical agriculture, farmers can grow grass in this hilly area and can use that as a fodder for cattle. Farmers can go for dairy development if good quantity and quality of grass is available.

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For soil and water conservation this activity will help. Plantation on common land will satisfy basic need of fuel wood. Cheapest method for soil and water conservation

Summer ploughing :

Summer ploughing

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Main objective of field preparation is to control weeds Facilitate easy sowing and to establish good seed soil contact For easy absorption of moisture To provide sufficient aeration To improve water holding capacity

Agro forestry :

Agro forestry Agroforestry is an integrated approach of using the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock. It combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy and sustainable land-use systems.

Vegetative barriers:

Vegetative barriers

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Vegetative barriers are also an effective inter-terrace land treatment in place of earthen barriers.

Farm ponds :

Farm ponds

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Rain water is harvested and stored Used for storing water for longer duration. Covered with polythene sheet to prevent evaporation.

Roof top rainwater harvesting:

Roof top rainwater harvesting To recharge the wells (open and tube wells) particularly abandoned wells by a runoff collection system. Direct on-use of collected water if storage facility is available.


RECHARGE TUBE WELL To directly feed depleted aquifers to fresh water from ground surface so that the recharge is fast without any evaporation loss Depth of recharge tube well depends on the present depth of bore wells in the area

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