Keshav Bhatia, Academic Content Writer at Edumarz
Soil and water conservation increases the biomass production, watershed management focuses exactly on that.
Primary resources like land and water should be developed to further develop and produce secondary resources of plants and animals.
These developed resources should be managed and used in a manner that will not lead to ecological balance
Increase income of the watershed community
Help weaken the severity of flood and drought
Increase the life of dams and reservoirs that are located downstreams
The work by some organizations has even brought rivers back to life and recharged groundwater levels.
They have achieved this by meticulously working to catch every drop of water that falls on their land through indigenious methods. What they did:
Constructed small lakes and pits to trap water
Constructed dykes to prevent or weaken the severity of flooding
Built simple watershed systems
Constructed small earthen dams
Sand and limestone reservoirs
Rooftop water harvesting units
Examples of Indeginous water harvesting systems that have been used in India for centuries:
Rajasthan: Khadins, tanks and Nadis
Maharashtra: Tals and Bandharas
Madhya Pradesh: Bundhis
Himachal Pradesh: Kuhls
Uttar Pradesh: Bundhis
Jammu: ponds are the preferred indegenious method of water harvesting in Jammu’s Kandi belt
Bihar: Pynes and Ahars
Tamli Nadu: Eris
These systems are still in use today for water harvesting and water conveyance(kuhls of Himachal Pradesh are an indigenous structure of Water Conveyance)
As we know that climatic conditions and topography widely vary all over India and that is why different types of Indigenous structures were built all over India.
This means that these techniques of watershed management are locale specific to suit the different needs of the climate and topography. The benefits that these techniques provide are received by locals.
People having more control over their local water resources secures the sustainable management of these resources. It also helps reduce and sometimes even remove the overexploitation of these resources or their mismanagement.
In leveled terrains the water harvesting structures are as follows:
Earthen embankments are made in the shape of a crescent
Concrete and rubble check dams that are built in the flooded gullies.
Ponds are there behind these structures in which monsoon rain fills during the season
Only very large structures hold water for the whole year.
Most small structures only hold water for a few months and that is okay, because their purpose is not to hold water year round on the surface, but to help recharge the groundwater.
There are many advantages of doing so:
Ground water does not evaporate
Helps in greater biomass production because it spreads to a large area underground, to recharge wells, and helps provide hydration for vegetation over a large area.
Is relatively cleaner than surface water because it is more protected from animal and human waste contamination than surface water.
Stagnant surface water like artificial ponds and lakes becomes a breeding ground for dangerous disease causing vectors like mosquitoes, while groundwater does not.