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Presented by: SRIJITH BALAKRISHNAN ROLL No: 7248
DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING T.K.M COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, KOLLAM-691 005
University of Kerala 2011
THANGAL KUNJU MUSALIAR COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING
DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING
This is to certify that this seminar paper entitled
WATERSHED MANAGEMENT & PLANNING
is report of seminar presented by
during the year 2011 in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Degree of Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering of University of Kerala.
Dr. J. Sreekumar Asst. Professor Dept. of Civil Engg. T.K.M.C.E, Kollam
Head of the Department:
Prof. Soosan J Panicker Professor Dept. of Civil Engg. T.K.M.C.E, Kollam
It is matter of great pleasure for me to submit this seminar report on “Watershed Mangement And Planning ”, as a part of curriculum for award of “Bachelor of Technology Civil Engineering” degree of University of Kerala.
I am deeply indebted to my seminar guide Dr. J. Sreekumar, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering for his constant encouragement and able guidance. I am also thankful to Prof. Susan J Panicker, Head of Dept, Department of Civil Engineering, for her valuable support and suggestions.
I take this opportunity to express my deep sense of gratitude towards those, who have helped us in various ways, for preparing my seminar.
Watershed management is an emerging concept for the efficient use of rain run-off in the rural areas of India. The approach to watershed management is participatory in nature, people friendly, location specific, processed based and geared to cater to the problems and needs of the rural communities. The principle of watershed management is the proper management of all the precipitation by way of collection, storage and efficient utilisation of run-off water and use of groundwater. Watershed Management requires innovative planning along with input of engineering advancements to achieve its goals. The Engineering approach of 1980s in Watershed Management was a failure due to various reasons and hence, it paved the way for the evolution of integrated and participatory approaches. The paper also explains about the various engineering and indigenous technologies for preventing runoff of rainwater. Case studies of two major watershed programmes in state of Kerala are discussed and steps for better execution and improvement of watershed projects are suggested.
1. INTRODUCTION TO WATERSHEDS 1.1 What is a watershed? 1.2 Importance of watershed 1.2.1 Geopolitical Boundaries 1.2.2 Hydrology 1.2.3 Geomorphology 1.2.4 Ecology 1.2.5 Resource Management 1.3 How does a watershed function? 1.4 Key threats to the existence of watersheds 1.4.1 Ecological 1.4.2 Socio-economic 1.4.3 Technical 1.4.4 Institutional 2. INTRODUCTION TO WATERSHED MANAGEMENT 2.1 Defining Watershed Management… 2.2 Need & Importance of Watershed Management 2.3 Objectives of Watershed Management 2.4 Principles of Watershed Management 2.4.1 Comprehensiveness 2.4.2 Process and Communication 2.4.3 Integration of Interdisciplinary Science & Knowledge 2.4.4 Monitoring & Adaptive Management 2.4.5 Cooperation & Coordination 2.4.6 Community-based 2.5 Challenges For Watershed Management Projects 2.5.1 Impacts of management interventions are difficult to assess 2.5.2 Areas of decision making are not identical with watershed 2.5.3 Watershed management has to face competition and even conflict
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3. WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PLANNING 3.1 Drivers in Watershed Management 3.1.1 The need for integrated land and water management 3.1.2 The casual link between upstream and downstream land and water use and downstream impacts 3.1.3 The multiplicity of stake holders 3.1.4 The resource depletion and poverty nexus 3.2 Watershed Model 3.3 Watershed Modeling System 4. APPROACHES AND TECHNIQUES IN WATERSHED MANAGEMENT 4.1 Watershed Management Units 4.2 Important Watershed Management Approaches 4.2.1 Engineering Approach 4.2.2 Integrated and Participatory Approach 4.3 Important Engineering Techniques in Watershed Management 4.3.1 Grassland Development 4.3.2 Gully Plugs 4.3.3 Tree Plantation on Hill Slopes Along with Contour Trenching 4.3.4 Contour Bunding 4.3.5 Water Conservation Structures 4.3.6 Lift Irrigation Schemes 5. MAJOR WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PROJECTS IN KERALA 5.1 Amachal Model Watershed Project- Case Study in a Midland Region 5.1.1 Amachal Watershed 5.1.2 How the project started? 5.1.3 Project activities 5.1.4 Project impacts 5.2 Attappady Hills Watershed Project- Case Study in a Highland Region 5.2.1 Attappady Hills 5.2.2 How the project started? 5.2.3 Project activities 5.2.4 Project impacts CONCLUSIONS REFERENCES
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO WATERSHED
1.1 WHAT IS A WATERSHED? A watershed is an extend or an area that supplies water from rain and melting snow or ice by surface or subsurface flow to a given drainage system or body of water, usually stream, river, wetland, lake, or ocean (World Bank 2001). In closed watersheds the water converges to a single point inside the basin, known as a sink, which may be a permanent lake, dry lake, or a point where surface water is lost underground. The watershed includes both the streams and rivers that convey the water as well as the land surfaces from which water drains into those channels, and is separated from adjacent basins by a drainage divide. The drainage basin acts as a funnel by collecting all the water within the area covered by the basin and channelling it to a single point. Each watershed is separated topographically from adjacent basins by a geographical barrier such as a ridge, hill or mountain. The characteristics of that drainage network play a great part in determining how water moves through the watershed and consequently impacts upon issues such as water quality and quantity (including flooding) in a given place.
The characteristics of the water flow and its relationship to the watershed are a product of interactions between land and water (geology, slope, rainfall pattern, soils, and biota) and its use and management. A watershed is thus the basic unit of water supply and the basic building block for integrated planning of land and water use. Size is not a factor in the definition, and watersheds vary from a few hectares to thousands of square kilometres. Unless a watershed discharges directly into the ocean, it is physically a part of a larger watershed that does, and may be referred to as subwatershed (Black 1991).
Other terms that are used interchangeably with a watershed are catchment, catchment area, catchment basin, drainage area, river basin, water basin and drainage basin. In the technical sense, a watershed refers to a divider that separates one drainage area from another drainage area. However, in the United States and Canada, the term is often used to mean a drainage basin or catchment area itself. Watersheds drain into
other watersheds in a hierarchical pattern, with smaller sub-drainage basins combining into larger drainage basins.
Fig 1.1 Hydrological Cycle in a Watershed (Source: http:/www.waterencyclopedia.com/Hy-La/Hydrologic-Cycle.html)
The hydrological cycle within a watershed is shown in Figure 1.1. It illustrates that rainfall is the main source of water in a watershed. Water then flows through and out of the watershed as surface or groundwater flow which is incorporated into biomass, or is lost through evaporation and transpiration processes while in the watershed.
1.2 IMPORTANCE OF WATERSHED As discussed, the characteristics of the drainage network play a great part in determining how water moves through the basin and consequently impacts upon issues such as water quality and quantity (including flooding) in a given place. But beyond that, a watershed has a greater role in geopolitics, hydrology, geomorphology, ecology, resource management, etc. 1.2.1 Geopolitical boundaries Drainage basins have been historically important for determining territorial boundaries, particularly in regions where trade by water has been important. For example, the English crown gave the Hudson's Bay Company a monopoly on the fur trade in the entire Hudson Bay basin, an area called Rupert's Land. Today,
bioregional democracy can include agreements of states in a particular drainage basin to defend it. One example of this is the Great Lakes Commission. 1.2.2 Hydrology In hydrology, the watershed is a logical unit of focus for studying the movement of water within the hydrological cycle, because the majority of water that discharges from the basin outlet originated as precipitation falling on the basin. A portion of the water that enters the groundwater system beneath the drainage basin may flow towards the outlet of another drainage basin because groundwater flow directions do not always match those of their overlying drainage network. Measurement of the discharge of water from a basin may be made by a stream gauge located at the basin's outlet. Rain gauge data is used to measure total precipitation over a watershed, and there are different ways to interpret that data. 1.2.3 Geomorphology Watersheds are the principal hydrologic unit considered in fluvial geo-morphology. A watershed is the source for water and sediment that moves through the river system and reshapes the channel. 1.2.4 Ecology Watersheds are important elements to consider in ecology. As water flows over the ground and along rivers it can pick up nutrients, sediment, and pollutants. Like the water, they get transported towards the outlet of the basin, and can affect the ecological processes along the way as well as in the receiving water source. Modern usage of artificial fertilizers, containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, has affected the mouths of watersheds. The minerals will be carried by the watershed to the mouth and accumulate there, disturbing the natural mineral balance. This can cause eutrophication where plant growth is accelerated by the additional material. 1.2.5 Resource Management Watersheds constitute the basis for resource management. Because drainage basins are coherent entities in a hydrological sense, it has become common to manage water resources on the basis of individual basins. In the U.S. state of Minnesota, governmental entities that perform this function are called watershed districts. In New Zealand, they are called catchment boards. Comparable community groups based in Ontario, Canada, are called conservation authorities. In North America this function
is referred to as watershed management. In Brazil, the National Policy of Water Resources, regulated by Act n° 9.433 of 1997, establishes the watershed as territorial division of Brazilian water management.
1.3 HOW DOES A WATERSHED FUNCTION? A watershed is the area that drains to a common outlet. Five clearly identifiable functions are exhibited by watersheds, though not necessarily all at the same time (Black, 2007). Hydrologically, there are three fundamental watershed functions: (1) collection of the water from rainfall, snowmelt, and storage that becomes runoff, (2) storage of various amounts and durations, and (3) discharge of water as runoff. In fact, the first and last of these functions have, long been incorporated in the commonly-used terms, "catchment" and "watershed"; storage is the inevitable consequence of water being detained within an area between "catching" and "shedding."
Ecologically, the watershed functions in two additional ways: (4) it provides diverse sites and pathways along which vital chemical reactions take place, and (5) it provides habitat for the flora and fauna that constitute the biological elements of ecosystems. The latter constitute the more familiar ecological niches.
1.4 KEY THREATS TO THE EXISTENCE OF WATERSHEDS The problems that affect watersheds are complex and long-term in nature. Watersheds provide essential livelihoods for their inhabitants, but their natural resources are finite, often under pressure and at risk of degradation. Degradation caused by unsustainable exploitation of natural resources is usually the key problem. It leads to poverty, food insecurity and social conflict. The negative socio-economic consequences of unsustainable resources use are significant. In a watershed context, degradation can be described as follows: Watershed degradation is the loss of value over time, including loss of the productive potential of land and water, accompanied by significant changes in the hydrological behaviour of a river system which results in the inferior quality, quantity and timing of the water flow. It is the outcome of the interaction of physiographic features, climate and poor land use, as well as other human activities. Watershed degradation accelerates ecological degeneration, reduces
economic opportunities and increases social problems (FAO, 1990). Causes and symptoms of degradation may vary from country to country, but they do have common traits. These include ecological, socio-economic, technical and institutional issues, which are often interlinked and typically consist of some of the following elements:
1.4.1 Ecological Decreasing amount and quality of water resources Damages caused by natural disasters (heavy storms, landslides, wildfire, etc.) Extensive and rapid deforestation and forest degradation through legal and illegal exploitation, which can reduce the replenishment of groundwater and increase the amount of sediment in surface water Clearing and conversion of forests mainly into agriculture land uses Increased run-off and erosion Siltation and sediment discharge declining on the mainstream, through deposits of sediment in reservoirs and irrigation systems on the tributaries Reduced biodiversity with known and unforeseeable impacts on ecological integrity and food production Intruding salinity impacting agriculture and biodiversity Increase of soil and water contamination from inappropriate use of chemicals in all countries 1.4.2 Socio-economic Rural poverty in the uplands, causing migration to crowded urban centres Food insecurity Degradation of land through improper land use and unsustainable farming reducing productivity and income Rapid population growth, which increases pressure on natural resources and land scarcity Increasing conflicts over land, forest and water resources Increased competition for resources and resource allocation difficulties Lack of access to knowledge and decision making powers for women Poor infrastructure and therefore limited access to markets, health care and education Expanding irrigation leading to increased water demands
1.4.3 Technical Poorly planned and executed development activities (roads, housing, mining, recreation, etc.), impairing streams and polluting the natural environment Increasing pollution through use of chemicals (pesticides / fertilisers), especially in the agricultural sector Changes in river flow regime through the construction of dams for hydropower generation and irrigation storage Over abstraction of surface and groundwater, particularly for irrigation
1.4.4 Institutional Inadequate access and unclear property rights related to land for resource users Fragmented legal framework and weak law enforcement Insufficient capacity within administrative systems and service providers National-level planning procedures and guidelines do not sufficiently reflect watershed perspectives Inadequate participation of local stakeholders in planning Lack of well trained personnel and decision-making mechanisms at the watershed level The traditional top-down approach is still prevalent and combined with a lack of understanding of participatory methods by government officials Overlapping jurisdictions and conflicting regulations Insufficient coordination combined with no clear mandate for national or cross boundary collaboration Lack of awareness related to the importance of watersheds and their functions at the local and national level
CHAPTER 2: INTRODUCTION TO WATERSHED MANAGEMENT
2.1 DEFINING WATERSHED MANAGEMENT... Watershed management is the integrated use of land, vegetation and water in a geographically discrete drainage area for the benefit of its residents, with the objective of protecting or conserving the hydrologic services that the watershed provides and of reducing or avoiding negative downstream or groundwater impacts. Watershed management approaches need to be adapted to the local situation and to changes in natural resource use and climate. Features of a watershed that agencies seek to manage include water supply, water quality, drainage, storm water runoff, water rights, and the overall planning and utilization of watersheds. Land owners, land use agencies, storm-water management experts, environmental specialists, water use purveyors and communities constitute the stakeholders in watershed management
2.2 NEED & IMPORTANCE OF WATERSHED MANAGEMENT The quality of life depends on water. Whether viewed as resource or commodity, water is the basis of agricultural, municipal, industrial, environmental and aesthetic well being and has been alternately taken for granted, abused, exploited, worshipped, and prayed for. Degradation of watersheds in recent decades has brought the longterm reduction of the quantity and quality of land and water resources. Changes in watersheds have resulted from a range of natural and anthropogenic factors, including natural soil erosion, changes in farming systems, over abstraction of water, overgrazing, deforestation, and pollution. The combination of environmental costs and socioeconomic impacts has prompted investment in watershed management in many developing countries. Watershed lands vary greatly in terms of water yield, natural sensibilities, and the activities that they support both on-site and downstream. The relationship between proper management and long-term results, including erosion, flooding, water quality and production, and wildlife habitat is therefore crucial.
2.3 OBJECTIVES OF WATERSHED MANAGEMENT Improving the management of land and water, and their interactions and externalities. Increasing the intensity and productivity of resource use in the upland area with the objective of reducing poverty and improving livelihoods. Improving environmental services and reducing negative externalities for downstream areas. Addressing technical, institutional, and policy issues needed to ensure equitable sharing of benefits among stakeholders and sustainable watershed management
2.4 PRINCIPLES OF WATERSHED MANAGEMENT The following are the general principles that are practically followed to reach the specific goals in a Watershed Management Project 2.4.1 Comprehensiveness Consider whole drainage basin (headwaters to basin outlet) Address all significant factors affecting the resource(s) Use an ecosystem-based approach (address environmental, economic and social benefits Recognize diversity of watershed in State Work across boundaries (land ownership/jurisdictional responsibilities)
2.4.2 Process and Communication Recognize that process is important as outcome Use a stake-holder based process (inclusive from beginning to end) Provide for an on-going iterative process with many opportunities for input
2.4.3 Integration of Interdisciplinary Science and Local Knowledge Use the best available scientific information Incorporate local knowledge and common sense approach Acknowledge watershed assessments as a necessary first step
2.4.4 Monitoring and Adaptive Management Monitor outcomes (include social and technical components) Take long-term approach Adapt management based on monitoring results Provide for flexibility in the watershed assessment and monitoring approach
2.4.5 Cooperation and Coordination Foster local interest and participation Promote federal/State/local government/tribal/public/private partnerships Comply with existing laws Utilize a combination of voluntary and regulatory approaches Seek equitable ways to distribute responsibilities and funding
2.4.6 Community-based Emphasize local initiatives and energy while acknowledging larger public trust interests Do not employ a top-down approach Consider scale dependencies Recognize beneficial resource utilization
2.5 CHALLENGES FOR WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PROJECTS
From an organisational or a managerial point of view, there are some key challenges for watershed management:
2.5.1 Impacts of management interventions are difficult to assess Watershed management addresses issues related to very complex ecological processes. These depend on a large number of physical parameters that vary in space and time, such as rainfall intensity, soil retention capacity and vegetation types. The complex interactions between upstream causes and downstream impacts inevitably mean that the consequences (impacts) of human activities and management interventions are difficult to monitor, evaluate and quantify. This in turn means that it is often difficult to identify “best” watershed management practices. 2.5.2 Areas of decision making are not identical with watersheds Watersheds are drainage units, delineated by topographic features of the landscape. On the other hand, watershed management is directed at stakeholders and land use systems that are a part of administrative units, which do not usually coincide with watersheds. Decisions made by stakeholders are usually made with respect to administrative units (provinces, districts, communes), or ecological zones, or land tenure units. Because these locally relevant spatial units often cut across watersheds, there can be conflicting goals and priorities. Watershed management has to accommodate this fact.
2.5.3 Watershed management has to face competition and even conflict More often than not, there is disagreement between upstream and downstream stakeholders and administrative units at various levels. Often downstream stakeholders set goals for management intervention measures which have to be implemented upstream, but which are potentially incompatible with needs and priorities of the upstream water users. This often expresses itself as economic, political or cultural. Such upstream-downstream disputes are less obvious in small watersheds, where the same community shares both upstream and downstream resources. In larger watersheds or river basins, economic and political power is almost always concentrated in the lowlands and downstream regions. This can lead to a unilateral downstream dominated approach, with low levels of consultation with upstream and upland stakeholders.
CHAPTER 3: WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PLANNING
Before carrying out the watershed management project, it is necessary to study the hydraulic and hydrologic characteristics of the watershed. The type of the approach for the management completely depends upon these upstream and downstream characteristics of the watershed. The methodologies and approaches for the management are then planned according to the characteristics of the watershed. A watershed model is often used to explain the process and benefits of a watershed management project in an area to the stakeholders. Nowadays, Watershed Modelling System, a computer based technique is used to plan the processes. Remote Sensing and GIS data can be easily incorporated in WMS to find out solutions for extremely complex problems.
3.1 DRIVERS IN WATERSHED MANAGEMENT The key characteristics of a watershed that drive management approaches are: 3.1.1 The need for integrated land and water management Land use, vegetative cover, soils, and water interact throughout the watershed, so that management approaches must consistently address them together. Therefore, typically, watershed management programs adopt integrate resource management approaches. 3.1.2 The causal link between upstream land and water use and downstream impacts Upstream land and water management inevitably has impacts on the downstream environment, not only on the quantity and quality of water flows and on the operation of downstream assets, such as reservoirs and irrigation schemes, but also on other “environmental services,” such as water quality, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, natural disaster vulnerability reduction, amenity values and, reduced localized flash flooding. Because of the direction of these effects—from upstream to downstream— watershed management programs are typically oriented toward problem solving in upland areas. 3.1.3 The multiplicity of stakeholders Watersheds provide many important services to an extensive range of stakeholders, and changes in land and water management and in watershed hydrology will directly
or indirectly affect many or all of them (Kerr 2002b). Many people use upper and lower reaches for multiple purposes, and a plethora of public and private agencies are typically involved: organizations dealing with agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, water, irrigation, rural development, physical planning, land tenure; local governments; community institutions, NGOs, and so forth. This institutional density creates a management challenge and requires watershed management approaches to create broad and inclusive institutional platforms. 3.1.4. The resource depletion and poverty nexus Upland areas of developing countries are typically more fragile and less productive environments where natural resource management and rural poverty are commonly linked. With frequently extensive land use practices and a more fragile resource base, uplands are vulnerable to overexploitation and depletion of natural resources (water, vegetation, forests, and soils). With land degradation, agricultural productivity declines, often aggravating the poverty problem. As a result, improving the management of natural resources in upland areas and influencing downstream impacts requires attention to the problems of the population of the poor upland areas, particularly poverty reduction and local institutional development (World Bank, 2001). Thus, watershed management programs generally have to focus on the farming systems of the poor in upland areas in order to achieve poverty reduction and conservation objectives simultaneously. 3.2 WATERSHED MODEL A watershed model is a three-dimensional representation of land that drains to a single river, stream, lake, or ocean. A watershed model is used as a tool to educate people about their watershed and why they should care about them. Watershed models help people make a connection between land use and water quality by demonstrating how we treat our land impacts the body of water to which the land drains. Understanding the watershed concept is crucial in helping people make the connection between their actions in preventing pollution on land and the health of their local waterway. Creating a watershed model is one way of educating children and adults about watersheds. It visually demonstrates the watershed concept and it helps show other difficulties to understand concepts such as non-point source pollution, the importance
of wetlands, the connection of storm drains to local streams, groundwater recharge, and the reason for having forested riparian areas. In short, watershed models help demonstrate the effects of storm water runoff and reveal their role in preventing pollution of the rivers and streams. 3.3 WATERSHED MODELLING SYSTEM The Watershed Modelling System (WMS) is a comprehensive graphical modelling environment for all phases of watershed hydrology and hydraulics developed by US Army Corps of Engineers. WMS includes powerful tools to automate modelling processes such as automated basin delineation, geometric parameter calculations, GIS overlay computations (CN, rainfall depth, roughness coefficients, etc.), cross-section extraction from terrain data, etc. WMS supports hydrologic modelling and hydraulic modelling. All modelling is handled by a GIS-based data processing framework that makes the task of watershed modelling and mapping much easier WMS offers state of the art tools to perform automated basin delineation and to compute important basin parameters such as area, slope and runoff distances. With its management of coordinate systems, WMS is capable of displaying and overlaying data in real world coordinates. The program also provides many display tools for viewing terrain surfaces and exporting images for reports and presentations. The program’s modular design enables the user to select modules in custom combinations, allowing the user to choose only those hydrologic modelling capabilities that are required.
The Watershed Modelling System can be effectively used in the study of the various watershed parameters before devising the methodologies and approaches for watershed development and management of a particular area. WMS can cut down the efforts for data collection as it can be incorporated to GIS and the tediousness in complex calculations involving several numbers of parameters and factors related to the watershed can be easily done.
CHAPTER 4: APPROACHES AND TECHNIQUES IN WATERSHED MANAGEMENT
4.1 WATERSHED MANAGEMENT UNITS As discussed, every watershed differs from one another in every aspect. Hence the approaches, methodologies and techniques used in each watershed vary significantly. The selection of an approach has the major stake in the project’s success. For the ease of working out the project, each area can be divided into several watershed management units. According to the extent of area, watershed management units can be classified as follows (Table 4.1).
Table 4.1 Watershed Management Units and their Characteristics
Watershed Management Unit Microwatershed Subwatershed Typical area (km2) Influence of impervious cover Very Strong Primary planning authority Property owner(local) Local Government Local or Multiple local governments Local, regional, or state State, multistate, or federal Management focus
Best Management Practice and site design Stream Classification and Management Watershed based zoning Basin Planning
Watersheds are broken down into smaller geographic units called ‘sub watersheds’. Sub watersheds typically have a drainage area of 2 to 15 square miles with boundaries that include the land area draining to a point at or below the confluence of the second order streams and almost always within the limits of the third order stream, while management unit size vary among geographic regions and also as a function of slope, soils and degree of urbanization, this general definition provides a consistent and uniform basis for defining individual sub watershed boundaries within a larger
watershed. The terms ‘watershed’ and ‘sub watershed’ are not interchangeable. Watershed I used when referring to broader management issues across an entire watershed, while the term ‘sub watershed’ is used to refer assessment level studies and specific projects within the smaller sub watershed units.
Fig. 4.1 Watershed Management Units
There are other important management units to consider when developing a watershed plan. The largest watershed management unit is the basin. A basin drains to major receiving water such as a large river, estuary or lake. Basin drainage areas typically exceed several thousand square miles and often include major portions of a single state or even a group of states. Within each basin are a group of sub basins that extend over several hundred square miles. Sub basins are a mosaic of many diverse land uses, including forest, agriculture, range, and urban areas. Sub basins are composed of a group of watersheds. Within sub watersheds are catchments, which are the smallest units in a watershed. A catchment is defined as the area that drains an individual development site to its first intersection with a stream.
4.2 IMPORTANT WATERSHED MANAGEMENT APPROACHES
4.2.1 Engineering Approach The first generation of watershed management projects in developing countries in the 1970s and 1980s applied a soil and water planning approach to watersheds that emphasized engineering works aimed at specific on-site and downstream physical outcomes. Less attention was paid to the needs of upstream populations or to their ownership of program actions. As a result, investment costs were high and not always well justified, and the assets and benefits created often had a limited life. The concept of watershed management focused mainly on the management of land, water and biomass resources in medium or large river valleys, aimed at scaling down rapid runoff and excessive soil erosion and to decelerate the rate of siltation of reservoirs and limit the incidence of potentially damaging flash flooding in river courses (Paul, 1997). By the end of the 1980s, the comparative failure of this “engineering-led” approach was clear, and a major rethinking of watershed management approaches was undertaken by national and international agencies.
4.2.2 Integrated Watershed Management Approach At present, the overall objectives of watershed development and management programmes take the watershed as the hydrological unit, and aim to adopt suitable measures for soil and water conservation, provide adequate water for agriculture, domestic use and improve the livelihoods of the inhabitants. Integrated watershed management is an effective means for the conservation and development of land and water resources. As an interdisciplinary approach, it integrates the socio-cultural and economic as well as the biophysical and technological aspects of development. An over-riding concern of integrated watershed development is the improvement of the livelihoods of local communities on a sustainable basis. This requires balancing their economic needs and expectations with environmental concerns so as to avert degradation of the natural resource base, in particular soil and water components.
Governments and development institutions are increasingly recognizing that full community participation is essential for sustainable watershed development. With growing local participation, indigenous knowledge is now significantly influencing the planning, design, and implementation of watershed development programmes.
Long-term changes and development are more likely to be adopted if communities have a say in the decision-making process. Sustainability also increases if local resources are more efficiently utilized and the use of or need for external inputs is minimized. Watershed management today, is practiced as a means to increase rain fed agricultural production, conserve natural resources and reduce poverty in the world’s semi-arid tropical regions in South Asia and Sub–Saharan Africa, which are characterized by low agricultural productivity, severe natural resource degradation, and high level of poverty (Kerr, 2002).
Participation by farmers is essential for the planning of sustainable management of land and water resources. Farmers are closer to the real problems, and therefore they are aware of factors that experts may overlook, and their objectives are more realistic for economic development (Stocking, 1996).
For the sustainability of watersheds, apart from technology and policies for resource use, better organizational mechanisms and processes (through which actors can come together to make decisions) are essential. The geohydrological boundaries and administrative boundaries are generally different in watersheds and hence, for sustaining effective participation, management strategies should be flexible to allow the users to identify boundaries at which they prefer to organize themselves.
There are three ways in which participation is associated with watershed management (Johnson and Westermann, 2000), Participatory watershed management:
Stakeholders participate in development processes and decisions. Relevant stakeholders jointly discuss and decide about watershed planning and set priorities for taking up development tasks, such as trying out a technology or methodology in a new location. Participatory research on watershed management:
Researchers and other stakeholders work together in the process of developing new technologies or institutions for watershed management. Although research is the focus, all stakeholders participate in the process and decisions are made jointly.
Research on participatory watershed management:
Researchers collect materials from various projects applying participatory watershed methods and carry out analyses in order to understand issues, such as collective action and how stakeholders negotiate and implement natural resources management. This research may or may not be participatory and therefore may or may not involve other stakeholders.
4.3 IMPORTANT ENGINEERING TECHNIQUES IN WATERSHED MANAGEMENT
The importance of engineering can never be neglected in a watershed management project, irrespective of the approach used for planning and execution of the project. In modern methodologies, both planning process and engineering solutions have equal roles. Engineering techniques assist in creating an optimised solution for many complex problems occurring in management of watershed. Engineering structures are widely used in various goals of watershed management like soil conservation, water conservation (quantity and quality), flood control, slope stabilization, etc. The important among them are as follows:
4.3.1 Grassland Development At the upstream areas of a watershed which is very undulating and sloppy, Grassland development is an effective measure. This comes under Farmer participatory approaches for watershed development Traditional agriculture on hill slopes is totally stopped and the barren hill slopes are converted into grasslands. Grasslands help in soil and water conservation. During heavy rainfall grass acts as a shock absorber and checks the velocity of rain drops. This ultimately reduces the chances of soil erosion. The runoff can be completely prevented and can accelerate the infiltration of water into the soil. This can lead to the formation of ‘zero-runoff’ watersheds. Thus grassland development helps in soil and water conservation. The cultivation of grass yields fodder for cattle. Dairy development is also possible if grasslands are excessive and this can yield good economic returns for the stakeholders. Again studies have proved that grassland development can increase the levels of groundwater.
4.3.2 Gully Plugs Gully plug is one of the simple methods of soil and water conservation. These are small structures constructed with rubble masonry or concrete put in series one below the other from top to bottom of the depression (Fig 4.2). 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. This is a cost effective method which can prevent the direct runoff of water. This also helps in generation of biomass over the hill slopes which can further act as infiltration agencies.
Fig 4.2 Gully Plug
4.3.3 Tree Plantation on Hill Slopes Along With Contour Trenching Soil erosion is the most serious problem in sloppy barren hills. Along the spurs of the hill it is not possible to construct any type of engineering structures. In this area the erosion is usually sheet erosion, where a thin layer of top soil is lost during rain. To avoid this phenomenon, the area can be converted into lush green grassland. Along with grass, the velocity of flowing water can be checked by small trenches in staggered manner. Grassland and trenches have helped in soil and water conservation. When water starts flowing along the fields, grass and trenches become obstruction for it. Due to the obstruction to the flowing water, velocity reduces and water is collected in the trenches. This allows infiltration of water into the soil. Thus grassland development with trenches along the hill slope helps in soil and water conservation.
For trenching, first step is to mark contours on the slopes. The next step is to mark trenches along the contours. Then trenches can be dug along the contours. Width, length and depth can be decided depending upon depth of soil at that place. Spacing of trench row will depend upon slope of land. As slope increases distance between
two rows will be less and vice versa . Along the slopes grassland can be developed with the help of villagers themselves. Trees which will satisfy basic needs of a village will be planted along the downstream side of the trench. Water stored in the trench for a few days and recharge in the soil which ultimately benefit the trees and ground water level. Protection of the area with social fencing helps in natural regeneration of the local grass and trees.
4.3.4 Contour Bunding Contour bunding is one of the simple methods of soil and water conservation. Bunding is an embankment of earth. It plays an important role in soil and water conservation in the field with medium slope. In between two contours agriculture can be practised. Along bunds trees which fix nitrogen in to the soil are planted with grass along the bunds. Contour bunding helps in soil and water conservation. When there is rainfall, contour bund acts as a barrier to the water flow and checks the velocity. This reduces chances of soil erosion. When water starts flowing along the fields, bund becomes obstruction for it. Due to the obstruction velocity reduces and water percolates behind the bunds. This allows infiltration of water into the soil. Thus bunding on the fields with moderate slopes helps in soil and water conservation.
4.3.5 Water Conservation Structures Water conservation is important from the agricultural point of view. For stable agriculture, storage of water is an essential part of the watershed development. Targeted food production can be had only if crop water relationship is fulfilled at appropriate time. Water conservation works are basically small dams with height not exceeding 3-5 metres. The object of water conservation structures is to create a barrier to the flow of water and to impound water against this barrier and make use of it through the wells on the downstream side. The use of such structures is to provide water for drinking, domestic use and agriculture etc. Water conservation structures can be divided into certain groups as under: Earthen water conservation works Masonry water conservation works with or without gates Underground dam as a water conservation works. Timber crib water conservation works.
4.3.6 Lift Irrigation Schemes Input of water is important from the agricultural point of view. Some times in some places water can't be provided to the fields as the level of the field is higher than that the source of water. In this case water is required to be lifted at a convenient higher spot from which it can be supplied to the fields under command. For lifting of water some energy is required for pump operation. It may be electric power or diesel. There are many methods of lift irrigation schemes depending upon the type of mechanism to lift the water. In old days water was lifted with the help of a person or a pair of bullocks which was mainly for an individual need. But nowadays, schemes for large areas and group of farmers are necessary. Water can be lifted from wells, rivers, irrigation tanks etc. and conveyed through pipes made of cement, steel, PVC etc. The results of the lift irrigation scheme are: Increase in food production and thereby increase in income level as the land turns into irrigated land Prevention of drought and sufficient drinking water Stabilised agriculture as water is available whenever it is required
CHAPTER 5: MAJOR WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PROJECTS IN KERALA
The idea of watershed management is a relatively recent phenomenon in Kerala. As an experiment, the government of Kerala introduced two model watershed projects with people's participation. The Amachal model watershed project in Trivandrum district was directly implemented by the government of Kerala under the Western Ghats Development Programme (WGDP) with the concept of ‘Participatory Watershed based Integrated Development for Resource Management’
(PAWIDREM). The second project was the Attappady watershed project, in Palakkad district, implemented by the government of Kerala through an autonomous
institution: the Attappady Hill Area Development Society (AHADS), with a vision of ‘ecological restoration of wasteland in Attappady and development of replicable models of participative eco-restoration, so as to prevent further degradation and promote sustainable methods of livelihood for the local people (with special emphasis on tribal population) in harmony with the resource base’. In both watersheds, project activities were carried out through user associations.
5.1 AMACHAL MODEL WATERSHED PROJECT- CASE STUDY IN A MIDLAND REGION
5.1.1 Amachal Watershed
Amachal watershed lies in Trivandrum District, the administrative capital of Kerala (between 8° 28’57” and 8° 29’44”north, 77° 6’26” and 77° 7’16” east). The area has a humid tropical climate with an average rainfall of 1500mm/year and average mean temperature of 26.5°C. There are two distinct monsoons: the southwest monsoon from June to September and the northeast monsoon from October to December. The watershed is characterized by moderately sloping to steep hills intervened by very gently sloping to gently sloping valleys. This watershed experiences severe water scarcity during the dry period from January to May. Agriculture is the main source of income.
5.1.2 How project started? The watershed committee was formed on 25-07-2002 in the Amachal watershed for the implementation of the participatory watershed project. The committee consists of
53 members with the president of the Kattakada Grama Panchayat as its chairman and the Panchayat member representing Amachal ward (administrative ward with the largest area in the watershed) as its convener. Of the 53 members, 38 members are from the 19 household groups (HG1 to HG19) of this watershed. These groups are formed from 510 houses with 20-25 houses in each group. One male member and one female member represent each household group. Panchayat members of the other three administrative wards, District Panchayat member, Block Panchayat member, members of the people’s institutions in the watershed, Government representatives are the other members of the watershed committee.
Fig. 5.1 Organizational Setup of Amachal Watershed Project The watershed committee is empowered to take decisions on all aspects of organization and implementation of project activities in the watershed. After the awareness campaign, the community formulated their priorities as listed in the following order: (1) awareness generation and training, (2) literacy and community learning, (3) soil and water conservation, (4) agriculture and allied activities, (5) income generation activities, (6) infrastructure development. Participatory rural appraisal and resource–mapping exercises were conducted in the watershed with the assistance of field experts from NGOs.
5.1.3 Project Activities Revival of the village pond, construction of contour bunds using loose boulders, construction of an irrigation canal, and digging percolation pits, are the major
activities done under irrigation and soil conservation in the first phase of the development. The second phase wasn’t completed due to insufficient funds.
5.1.4 Project Impacts As per the financial statements of the work done by the watershed committee of 0103-’04, the committee could provide employment for 8200 local labourers. Men and women were given equal wages for unskilled labour. Increased job opportunities have enhanced the livelihood of the watershed community. At present the project is stopped due to lack of support from the government and local politicians. Though the village pond is revived, the rehabilitation of the canal was not completed. They lost paddy crops of about 50,000m2. There is no coordination between the line departments and the watershed committee. Though the watershed community is highly aware of the concept of watershed, local politicians and the government officials are unaware of the resource management. The watershed committee members revealed that a village pond in this watershed was revived using local labour and indigenous techniques in consultation with experienced farmers with 40% of the cost that was estimated by the government officers. Local politicians and the other members of the Grama panchayat do not support this project since their administrative wards are not included in the project area. The watershed boundary does not coincide with the administrative boundary of the wards. People living beyond the watershed boundary in the same wards were excluded from project benefits. Local politicians do not want a participatory project to succeed. If people are strengthening themselves to implement development projects, then what will be the role of politicians?
5.2 ATTAPPADY HILLS WATERSHED PROJECT- CASE STUDY IN A HIGHLAND REGION
5.2.1 Attappady Hills Attappady is located in the northeastern part of Palakkad District, in the western ghat region of Kerala. It has an area of 745 (km)2 spread over three panachayats namely Agali, Pudur and Sholayur; which is included in the manipulation zone of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve by the Department of Environment, government of India (CWRDM, 1994). According to the National Wasteland Development Board,
Palakkad is one of the districts in Kerala with the highest proportion of wastelands relative to its geographical area, most of which extends over Attappady. Over exploitation and improper management of natural resources coupled with faulty land use practices turned Attappady into a degraded zone of the Western Ghat region. There has been drastic change in the Attappady ecosystem during the recent past, due to deforestation and migration. The hills of Attappady were once the forest land of Kerala. At present it is on the verge of extreme degradation. Massive encroachment over forest and cultivated lands, introduction of unsustainable cropping systems, and excessive grazing inflicted heavy damage on the ecosystem and the livelihood support systems of the people. Due to deforestation of the catchments, perennial rivers dried up, springs disappeared and water quality worsened considerably, leading to series of diseases and ill health of the tribal people along with starvation. Extensive felling of trees and the tillage along the slopes with bullock carts led to increased soil erosion, runoff and depletion of groundwater. Along with this even more unsustainable practices such as brick making using the thin topsoil became a regular practice in Eastern Attappady (Karat, 2003).
5.2.2 How the project started? The Attappady Hill Area Development Society (AHADS) was formed in 1995 for the implementation of the Attappady Wasteland Comprehensive Environmental Conservation Project for the eco-restoration of Attappady hills. It is an autonomous organization working under the Department of Rural Development, Government of Kerala. The duration of the project was 8 years from 1996-2004, which was extended for another five years. There are 160 hamlets in this watershed with 20-30 houses in each hamlet. The density of population in this watershed is only 88 per km2 against state’s average 819 per (km)2. The entire population in this region lives below the poverty line. The watershed is divided into 15 sub-watersheds and a multidisciplinary team was formed under five team leaders for the implementation of the project. Detailed studies were carried out in 5 sub-watersheds. The project was financed by the Japanese Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC), with a total budget of 4.4 million Euros (INR 219 crores); consisting of a loan component of 3.5 million Euros (INR 176 crores) from JBIC and 0.8 million Euros (INR 42 crores) from the state government.
The eco-restoration activities were planned and implemented using a participatory approach on a watershed basis. The area has two major river basins, namely Bhavani and Bharatapuzha. The Bhavani River has four sub-basins and Bharatapuzha River has one. These five sub- basins of the two rivers were treated as the main watersheds and it was again sub-divided into 15 watersheds and 146 micro watersheds without considering the state administrative boundaries (IRMA, 2004). The region has two distinct climatic patterns. Physiographically, the area is characterized by an undulating steep to very steep topography with elevation ranging from 450-2300m. The type of soil varies from loamy sand to sandy loam in upper reaches and clayey loam to clay in the valley region. Erratic rainfall along with poor soil moisture retention has rendered these lands erosive leading to desertification.
Fig 5.2 Organizational setup of Attappady Hills Watershed Project Unlike the traditional system of top-down planning undertaken at the upper echelons of the organization, in the functional set up of AHADS, five distinct interlinked levels of project planning and management were adopted for the implementation of the project. The organizational set up is presented in Figure 4.3. They are:
1. Perspective planning at the project level through AHADS 2. Watershed level through the Development Units (DU) 3. Micro-watershed level through User Associations (UA), Local Action Group(LAG) an operational unit works under UA in the sub micro watershed level 4. Tribal hamlet level through Ooru Vikasana Samithi (OVS) 5. Forest conservation and forestation through Joint Forest Management Committee (JFMC) User Association (UA) is a registered organization representing the total population of the respective micro watershed. It includes both the tribal and non tribal people. The main responsibility of a UA is to implement the activities with respect to micro plans prepared by AHADS with people’s participation. UAs were found to be too big to attend to the details of the needs of the area of which it was composed. Therefore Local Action Groups (LAG) were organized for the project implementation at local level as a representative body of all the beneficiaries within an area of 0.5-1.0 km2 in a micro watershed. This group is responsible for the coordination of various activities to be undertaken on these lands including the employment of labour. Ooru Vikasana Samiti (OVS) is an un-registered organization at each tribal hamlet to address the common issues of these marginalized communities. In 160 of the 188 tribal hamlets OVS have been formed. To ensure women participation, among the nine elected members of each hamlet, five of them should be women. Joint Forest Management Committee (JFMC) is an unregistered organization formed for the reforestation of degraded forest land located near human inhabitations. All adults in the neighbourhood were eligible to become members in JFMC. At present 29 JFMCs were formed.
5.2.3 Project Activities As the majority of the people are illiterate and also as a result of virtual failure of previous government projects and resultant socio-economic conditions of people, apathy and callousness towards developmental projects had developed among the people. Hence, AHADS spent about 2-3 years in the initial stage on organizing beneficiary associations at grass root level and capacity building to administer the project implementation and accounting and documenting project impacts. Various participatory measures were undertaken towards facilitating integration of
technological packages of practices under different field conditions. These includes, participatory rural appraisal techniques, group meetings, environmental literacy campaign, training programmes to elected members from UG, LAG, OVS, JFMC in group dynamics, maintenance of accounts, conflict resolution for the smooth handling of execution of works and to help them maintain transparency.
Water is the most crucial resource in this region. Soil and water conservation development works have played a major role in the implementation of the project. The various works implemented through UAs include percolation ponds, contour trenches, check dams, gully plugs, sub-surface dikes, diversion weirs, contour bunds and terracing. Through the sustainable agro-forestry system, prime importance was given to the promotion of multipurpose tree species to fit the diverse agro-climatic zones of the area.
The tree species includes horticultural crops, mainly cashew, mango and other fruit species and silvi-cultural species such as neem, silver oak, casuarinas etc. (Karun et al. 2005). Planting was done through JFMCs in different development units. PRA was conducted to prioritize the need of the forest dependant community. Treated areas were fenced with barbed wire and adequate fire protection measures were provided by making fire lines to prevent grazing and forest fire. Along with the eco-restoration programme, medicinal plants were promoted in the degraded lands in the area through OVS. Considering the mal-nutrition and sickle cell disease among the tribal people due to the change in food habits, agricultural activities were promoting nutrient gardens in the tribal hamlets. Both nutrient gardens and medicinal plants would strengthen the livelihood of the tribal people. In order to make the project sustainable, income generation activities such like broom making, coir pith compost, vermin compost, local nurseries to cater for the huge requirement of the planting material, were also started. Training sessions on various participatory programmes, need for conservation of nature etc. were conducted with resource persons from relevant disciplines. Along with these activities, the construction of roads and houses was taken up in the development units.
5.2.4 Project Impacts As per the report on October 2004, AHADS provided 1.4 million man days of employment. Total expenditure was 0.94 million Euros which is around 30% of the total budget. Increase in availability of water, which is a visual impact for the illiterate society had a very positive impact on the project after 4 years of physical implementation. Many streams and springs were regenerated; those farmers who were reluctant to give their land for physical implementation of the structures started giving land for conservation activities. Abandon of land by the settlers from agriculture have been considerably reduced. People started cultivation their own land. Income generation activities based on locally produced agricultural products gained substantial momentum.
Fig 5.4a (in 1994)
Fig 5.4b (In 2011)
The following conclusions can be obtained while analysing the literatures about the various watershed management projects. i. Watershed Management is an effective method for integrating soil and water conservation, social harmony and employment opportunities ii. Watershed Management is the fundamental tool that can be used for resource based sustainable development in rural areas. iii. For a Watershed Management project to be successful, the active participation from various stakeholders is inevitable. Failure of projects in 1980s and 1990s were a failure because of the lack of participation of the local people. Hence Participatory Watershed Management Approach is the best tool available. iv. Politics and Watershed Management should never be mixed up. The project in Amachal Watershed Area in Trivandrum was a failure because of this reason. Political and watershed boundaries may differ. So many Projects were left in midway to satisfy political interests. Hence movements like Bioregionalism can help people to think beyond these political interests. v. Planning and Organization in a decentralized level enjoys equal importance with engineering techniques in a Watershed Management Project. Integrating these three can give the best results. Local knowledge should also be considered to obtain cost effective results.
1. Vishnudas S. (2006). Sustainable Watershed Management: Illusion or Reality? A Case of Kerala State in India. Eburon Academic Publishers, ISBN-10: 90-5972154-3, Delft, The Netherlands 2. World Bank, (2007). ‘Watershed Management Approaches, Policies and Operation: Lessons for Scaling Up’. A report by the Energy, Transport and Water Department, World Bank, Washington D.C 3. Black, P. E. (1997). ‘Watershed Functions’. Journal of American Water Resource Association , 33, 1-11 4. Kaushik, P. K, Pandey, B. K, Tripathi, Y. C, (2007). Participatory Approach to Watershed Management in India. Rain Forest Research Institute, Deovan
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