Watershed is a Geo-hydrological unit of land having a single outlet or drainage point and ridge line having drainage divide of rainfall. Rainfed areas are characterised by low rainfall which is sporadic in nature and is a major cause of low productivity. Land degradation due to soil erosion, increase in population, poor livestock productivity, fodder shortage & un-organised marketing opportunities are the other area of concern. Efficient water management through soil & water conservation measures is the key for sustainable development of rainfed areas.

Survey of the agriculture situation in rain-fed areas have shown that these areas are characterised by decrease in the water table, land degradation due to soil erosion, increase in population, poor livestock productivity, fodder shortage and un- organised marketing opportunities. Therefore, in RACP clusters where watershed opportunities exist for the treatment of catchment areas, have been selected for integrated development of value chain with focus on integrated farming system for increasing productivity, livelihood, enhanced and regular income. Research conducted for rainfed areas has shown that the efficient water management through soil and water conservation measures is the key for sustainable development. The integrated watershed approach i.e. conserving natural resources of water, soil &vegetation is accepted as major theme for development of rainfed areas in RACP.

1.      Activities on Arable Lands:

A.    Arable Land Conservation Measures: The important principles to be kept in view while planning measures for proper conservation of water are increasing the time of concentration & thereby allowing more runoff water to be absorbed, intercepting the long slope into short ones & protection against damage by excessive runoff. In broader way, it is a series of mechanical barriers to reduce the slope percentage. Some of the important activities are as under:

  • Contour Bund / Field Bund.
  • Waste weirs.
  • Gully Control structure.
  • Mini Percolation Tanks (MPTs)-
  • Sunken pits in gullies in first and second order streams, if falling in the farmers' fields.
  • Diversion drains/channels and sump, for recharging open dug wells (FWC).
  • Dugout Farm Ponds.
  • Land Reclamation.
  • Tanka: A

B.    Arable Land Production Measures:To get the more benefit from agriculture crop, it is very important to decrease the cost of cultivation and increase the production. To decrease the cost of cultivation, it is necessary to use complete available land for cultivation, use of latest implements so that time and cost is reduced. Integrated crop management demonstrations as detailed in Agriculture Component would lead to taking more than one crop in a year for increasing production and income.

For increasing production water management plays an important role. Efforts will be made to have more production and income for every drop of water. Arid horticulture offers uncommon opportunities in this respect and demonstrations will be led out on growing of vegetables and fruit crops through use of drip wherever farm ponds are constructed.

  • Contour Ploughing /cultivation in rainfed lands (FWC).
  • Strip and mixed cropping.
  • Green Manure Crops before the main Kharif season crops.
  • Cover crops in rain-fed lands during post Kharif for Rabi season crops & dry period.
  • Trees on all boundary bunds of rain-fed lands.
  • Agro Forestry including block plantation, shelter belts, sand dune stabilization.
  • Installation of PVC pipe lines on farmers' field and sprinkler / drip irrigation on farm ponds.
  • Raising Nurseries.

2.      Activities on Non Arable Lands:

A.    Non Arable Land Conservation Measures: The area not suited to cultivation limits their use largely to pasture or forest. These lands have a great potential for producing fodder, fuel, fiber etc. To protect these lands from further degradation, suitable SWC measures supplemented with proper afforestation are planned

  • Continuous Contour Trenches (CCTs):
  • Box shaped staggered trenches across deeper slopes:
  • Fencing of Pasture Lands:
  • Renovation of old existing structures

B.    Non Arable Land Production Measures: These lands are un-noticed and have got huge potential to become productive with a series of conservation and production measures.

  • Tree plantation
  • Tree plantation on slopes and banks of gully
  • Vegetative cover (Agave) for gully slopes
  • Over seeding of grass seeds in pasture land areas

3.      Drainage line treatment:

A.    Mini Percolation Tanks (MPTs):

B.     Big percolation tanks in third and fourth order stream

C.     Check Dams in second and third order streams

D.    Sunken pits in gullies in first and second order streams

E.     MPTs at head of gullies & upstream of sunken pits & drainage line treatments:

F.      Rubble stone diversion weir on the main stream, for gravity irrigation

G.    Restoring and de-silting very small tanks lying within the watershed:

H.    Loose stone check dam

I.     Construction of masonry structures

J.     Gully control structures

K.    Construction of Water harvesting structures/ Tanks:

L.     Sub surface dams at downstream of watershed.

4.      Consolidation of various works:


For Detailed Information : Operational Guideline Watershed