THE WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

National Watershed Development has been in place since 1995 through Rural Development Department, Government of Gujarat. The Project emerged following a review of the experiences of various programmes that were evolved over many years. The idea of focusing development at watershed level was not new in India, where there is a history of such approaches, but the review had highlighted both its strength and weaknesses. It agreed with the basic assumption that the concept of integrated watershed development, while not a panacea, has potential benefits, particularly in drought-prone areas where soil and water conservation measures are fundamental to agricultural production.
Pressures of growing population and increase family size in the agrarian-based Indian economy resulted in reduction of land holdings with poor soil conditions, poor livestock and a meager source of irrigation. The situation worsens as 72% of its rural population is depended on agriculture. Under similar circumstances the state of Gujarat was no exception.
The same survival struggle continued. Realizing the importance of the four R's- Rights, Responsibilities, Relationships and Resources, GRISERV, provided a useful framework of analyzing many aspects of Natural Resources Policy and initiated the implementation of the Watershed Development Programme in 1995.
As GRISERV was already aware of the National Watershed Development Programme, both resources and responsibilities were transferred to local people, a major attempt to institutionalize a "bottom-up" approach. The guidelines for Watershed Programmes incorporating all the features were to guide such initiatives. With the co-ordinate efforts of the local communities, GRISERV formed Watershed Committees (WC) in the project areas to secure government funding. The WCs get technical support of the Watershed Team (WDT), who in turn is employed by a Project Implementing Agency (PIA) or the implementing NGO. The PIA has a mandate to work with the community for a period of 4-years. During these years community resources are built through saving schemes or public contribution (as they are popularly know as, the contributory fund, wherever available or through human labor to pay for the construction or long term maintenance. Through a participatory process the User Groups, the Self-help Groups and the Watershed Committees jointly prepare the Watershed Development Programme Plan for a series of activities that suit the agro-climatic situation of each watershed area. The emphasis is on low-cost, simple, and easy-to-use/operate schemes, maintain works and other integrated activities. The plans are based on local technical skills supported by the expert knowledge WDT members at both the district officers and research organizations levels.

In the Watershed Development Programme the maximum amount of expenditure that amounts to about 78 % of the total Watershed funding is being contributed towards water conservation following 17.08% for soil and agriculture activities; 3.80 % on livestock and 1.88% on forestry programmes. The programme has its reach in almost 16 Talukas of 11 district of the state: Bhavnagar, Amreli, Junagadh, Rajkot, Rajpipla, Bharuch, Surat, Ahmedabad, Patan, Dahod & Panchmahals that have covered large farmers (38.08%), small farmers (31.97%); marginal farmers (20.76%) and others (9.2%).
Activities and achievements of various programmes carried out under the Watershed Development Programme during the year is in Table 1.

Monitoring: the Key to Success
The Central Monitoring Cell established at GRISERV's the headquarters in Vadodara, strictly supervises the on going developmental programmes and projects and assures the quality of inputs. Time management vigilance to complete the project within the stipulated timeframe is also an important aspect that the Cell looks into.

Basic Guidelines
The Watershed Development Programme is implemented in phases through various projects to erect watersheds that annually cover an area of 500 ha. in every village.
Objectives

Productive Phase
Promote the optimum use of natural resources in the watersheds area
Promote sustainable farming and stabilize crop yields by adopting suitable cropping and crop management systems.
Cover the non-arable area effectively through afforestation, horticulture, and pasture land development based on the capability of the land.
Enhance the income of individuals by adopting alternative enterprises.

Social Phase
Generate employment and develop additional economic resources in the villages

Use easy and affordable solutions that build on indigenous knowledge (It is in fact stipulated that around 80 % of work/activities should be raised on local knowledge).
Create/develop water resources in addition to groundwater recharge.
Restore ecological balance.
Impact of various activities recorded:
Drinking Water
Drinking water available in all most all villages (6-8) round the year expect in 1-2 summer months resulting in an annual saving of Rs. 1.5 to 3 lac for every village. Prior to this a village on an average required about 5 to 7 tankers every day for almost required per day for 4-7 months in a year.
Reducing drudgery of women in collecting water from a distance of about 5.7 km daily that saved about 3-4 hours to fetch water for the women folk of the village.
Water Table (Feet's)
Details
Before
After
Monsoon
Winter
Summer
Monsoon
Winter
Summer
Open Well
35
25
-
42
32
5
Bore Well
300
300
50
350
240
100

Irrigated land area increased by 20%
Protective irrigation helped in increasing crop production
Families' income and assets increased from Rs.30, 000 to 60,000.
Cropping intensity increased by 20 - 45%
Change in cropping pattern: Cotton Increased by 20%, Groundnut decreased by 17%
Over all production increased 19 - 64%
Cost of land increased from Rs.10,000 - 25,000/- to Rs. 35,000 - 50,000 per vigha.
Soil conservation measures helped in controlling soil erosion
Reduced migration
Empowering the community by increasing their involvement in the programme and their contribution in the shramadan movement saving in cost of activities that range from 19 - 25%.
Raising awareness for watershed development and participatory activities to their standard of living and protect the environment.

PROGRESS OF WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
 
WATER CONSERVATION
Particulars
Achievement
Check Dam
289
Cosway cum Check Dam
48
Farm Ponds
209
Nala bunding
91
Well recharge
167
Loose Boulder
68
Village Ponds Deepening/Repairing
40
Earthen Embankment
13
Soak Pit
238
Gully Plugging
7
Percolation Tank
18
Loose Stone Bund
70
Talav Outlet/Construction
4
     
SOIL CONSERVATION & AGRICULTURE DEVET.
Particulars
Achievement
Farmyard Bunding (rmt)
65,313
Farmyard Bunding (Ha.)
657.13
Contour Bunding (rmt)
22,962
Contour Bunding (Ha.)
28. 85
Plantation on Farm bund (Nos.)
26,525
Green Fodder Demonstration Plots (Nos.)
5
Kitchen Garden Kits distribution (Nos)
2573
Compost Pits (Nos.)
1,519
Vermicompost (Nos.)
220
Crop Demonstration (Plots)
250
     
FORESTRY DEVELOPMENT
Particulars
Achievement
Afforestation Plots (Ha.)
27.7
Afforestation (Plants)
12,623
Horticulture Demonstration Plots
10
Dry Land Horticulture (Plants)
15,494
Live Hedge Fencing (Nos.)
45
Forestry Development (Ha.)
22.5
Forestry Plantation (Nos.)
5602
 
ANIMAL HUSBANDARY
Particulars
Achievement
FMD Vaccination (Nos.)
2,728
Deworming (Nos.)
12,240
Infertility Camp (Nos.)
65
Mineral Powder Supplied (Kg.)
1,730
Chalf Cutter Distribution (Nos.)
39
Castration Camp (Breeds.)
39
 
WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME IN GUJARAT
Particulars
Districts
11
Taluka
16
No of Microwatershed
166
New
86
Old
80
Microwatershed under the Scheme
DPAP
77
IWDP
46
EAS
17
DDP
26
No of Villages Covered
162
Area Covered (Ha.)
79,200
 
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