climate change (Carpenter, et. al., 2001), and b) the watershed as an instrument to build orimprove the resilience of the dependent systems (Joslyn, 2011). Watershed developmentis considered as a provider of ecosystem services through catchment protection. A healthy,resilient watershed provides a sustained flow of desired ecosystem services including:provisioning (drinking water, irrigation, and soil moisture); regulating (reducing runoff, soilerosion, catchment protection and water purification); supporting (soil development, waterrecycling and stabilising irrigation systems) and cultural (recreation, and sightseeing). Theseservices vary from region to region and location to location (Joslyn, 2011; USDA, 2010).WSD is yet to get the recognition in India as a resilience building option or strategy to better adaptto climate variability and change. Studies on resilience and vulnerability have predominantlyfocused on technical aspects, by-passing the socioeconomic dimensions (Ravindranath,2011). Contrasting this, adaptation studies have focused on dealing with socioeconomicaspects at the household level, trying to understand the strategies households adapt/ adjustto the impact of climate variability, but without considering the technical information ontemperature and precipitation (for review see Reddy, et. al., 2010b). Recently, integratedresearch has been initiated bringing together multi-disciplinary approaches including agro-meteorology, climatology, hydrology, soil sciences, socioeconomic and institutional aspects
The challenge in this context is to integrate various technical dimensions such ashydrogeology, land use, soil type, slope, etc., in order to provide appropriate watershedinterventions and their density. These interventions could vary across locations based onthe technical attributes of the location and hence different approaches in the design andfinancing allocations are needed as against the present uniform approach. This includesintegration of social dimension i.e., involving and addressing the concerns and needs of thetarget communities. Similarly, watershed impacts are observed to be sensitive to climaticconditions (rainfall, droughts, etc). Therefore, the dominant challenges in placing watersheddevelopment in the broader context of river basin planning include: i) obtain, understandand integrate the hydrogeology and bio-physical aspects into watershed development; ii)understand climate variability within a river basin context and design watershed interventionsaccordingly; iii) understanding equity aspects of benefit flows across typologies and designcompensation policies in order to enhance the welfare across household typologies andminimise conflicts at scale; and iv) designing appropriate institutional arrangements at themeso-watershed; hydrological unit and river basin scale for sustaining the interventions.
The cluster of four projects supported by ACIAR in Andhra Pradesh, India, provides anopportunity to place watershed development in a broader context and assess its impacts
ACIAR Cluster Projects in Andhra Pradesh: http://aciar.gov.au/project/LWR/2008/019 - farmer climate adaptation; http://aciar.gov.au/ project/LWR/2006/158 - institutions and WSD; http://aciar.gov.au/project/LWR/2006/072 - meso-scale WSD; http://aciar.gov.au/project/ LWR/2007/113 - climate change and water security