Multiple Impact of Integrated Watershed Management in Low Rainfall Semi-Arid Region: A Case Study from Eastern Rajasthan, India

Pathak, P and Chourasia, A K and Wani, S P and Sudi, R (2013) Multiple Impact of Integrated Watershed Management in Low Rainfall Semi-Arid Region: A Case Study from Eastern Rajasthan, India. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 5 (1). pp. 27-36. ISSN 1945-3108

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Abstract

The agriculture in low rainfall areas of eastern Rajasthan, India is characterized by high risks from drought, degraded natural resources and pervasive poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition. In this region, water is the main limiting factor for upgrading rainfed agriculture. For such areas integrated watershed management is recognized as a potential approach for agriculture growth and rehabilitation of fragile and degraded lands. At Gokulpura-Goverdhanpura village in Bundi eastern Rajasthan, India an integrated watershed project was implemented using the holistic systems approach. This paper discusses the impacts of this watershed program on bio-physical, socio-economic, environmental and ecological parameters. Results indicate that due to watershed interventions the groundwater availability has substantially increased which brought changes in cropping patterns with high value crops. Significant increases in irrigated area, cropping intensity along with diversification of crops from traditional to commercial cash crops were recorded. The watershed program also significantly improved the socio-economic status of the watershed community. It has increased the income and reduced poverty of the people in the watershed. The watershed interventions generated good employment opportunities and significantly reduced the migration of both skilled and unskilled labor from the watershed village to urban areas. It has also improved the environmental quality and ecological status in the watershed. The watershed interventions increased the vegetative index or greenery, reduced runoff, soil loss, and land degradations and improved the bio-diversity in fragile ecosystems. Overall, the integrated watershed program at Gokulpura-Goverdhanpura provided resilience by ensuring continued and sustainable multiple outputs, besides soil and water conservation and other positive environmental effects.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
CRPS: UNSPECIFIED
Uncontrolled Keywords: Groundwater Management; Bio-Physical Impact; Socio-Economic Impact; Environmental and Ecological Impact; Semi-Arid Tropics
Subjects: Others > Watershed management
Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Mr Sanat Kumar Behera
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2013 08:49
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2013 08:49
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/6498
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jwarp.2013.51004
Projects: Combating land degradation and increasing productivity in Madhya Pradesh and Eastern Rajasthan, India
Funders: Dorabji Tata Trust, BAIF Devel-opment Research Foundation
Acknowledgement: This publication is a part of research project “combating land degradation and increasing productivity in Madhya Pradesh and Eastern Rajasthan, India” supported by Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. We acknowledge the BAIF Devel-opment Research Foundation, Bundi, Rajasthan for their key support to the project. We are thankful to Mr. T P Mathur and Mr. Gedam for facilitating the work covered in this report. The authors are highly thankful to Dr. K. L. Sahrawat and Mr. B. Nagaraju for their inputs in im-proving the manuscript.
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