Context: The study depicts the experience of Participatory and Scientific Watershed Management in the state of Gujarat, which represents synergy and convergence of resources from a range of stakeholders.
About Watershed Management in Gujarat
- Watershed is defined as a “Natural Geo-Hydrologic entity that covers a specific area expanse of land surface from which the rainfall runoff flows to a defined drain, channel, stream or river at any point.”
- The watershed management (WM) has emerged as a viable alternative for integrated management of resources to optimize the potential of rain fed areas, facilitating improved agricultural productivity leading to poverty alleviation, food security, environmental protection, access to safe energy and drinking water facility as well.
- Apart from traditional practices under WM, multi-pronged approach on the basis of viable options were taken up, which include:
- Building Institutions & Partnerships
- Scientific Prioritisation of Watersheds
- Participatory Micro Planning through Scientific Approach
- Capacity Building
- Livelihood Promotion
- Monitoring and Evaluation
- Impact Assessment
- Further, synergy and convergence was brought in Planning of a Watershed Development Project with the use of GIS in various aspects of prioritisation, development of action plan and monitoring and evaluation of projects.
- The following positive outcomes of the project have been observed:
- Improved community participation and ownership of the project where the developmental schemes are suggested and executed by the community itself.
- Quick decisions and corrective measures have been taken with the help of Centralized MIS and GIS based monitoring system, thus saving a lot of time and money.
- Standardisations in process and procedures covering Operational Guidelines, Capacity Building Manual, Technical Manual, Livelihood Manual and Human Resource Manual.
- Thus, the Watershed programme in Gujarat is a testimony to the assured and positive outcome of a well-designed scheme implemented with active participation of the community, using relevant techno-managerial tools towards realizing project objectives.