GANGA 65th Issue - Page 9

Newsletter No. 65; IRBMS watershed management is undertaken without technical interventions. The better performance properly estimating the water supply scenarios can be noticed in more participatory projects under drought/ normal/ surplus years as well as where complex, site-specific livelihood systems are without proper demand management especially prevalent. These conditions call for a flexible during drought years. approach and responsiveness to diverse, often (n) Large areas with tribal population lack unexpected situations. Straight jacketed guideline facilities to harvest water and to stabilize their based approaches pursued by the technocratic, food/ crop/ fodder production due to reduced hierarchical organizations are poorly suited to such forest yields, deterioration in land quality, and lack conditions. The successful formation of watershed of population community is the key of the watershed program’s pressure. This leads to a sustained misery, socio- success; the following points need to be considered political unrest among the tribal population. for the same; tribal (o) agriculture policy and Non-availability or lack of hydrological and watershed related data at the time of watershed (b) There is a need to ensure that gains due to groundwater recharge are not dissipated by excess development plan in an area. groundwater There is a need development to understand watershed for sustainable program environment/ ecology, especially not to erode the extraction. To achieve this, groundwater over-extraction should be avoided through public awareness and adopting water conserving agricultural practices. land, water, forests resources and to support the local bio-diversity. This may include adoption of best management practices (BMPs) such as organic farming, de-silting for reservoir capacity restoration as well as for crop productivity increase, water use practices to avoid excess use of water, no tree felling policy, afforestation and arboriculture through high oxygen yielding & other (c) There is a need to consider a holistic river basin or catchment level approach so that the intensive upstream water conservation has a positive impact on downstream. For this, watershed associations with representations from all the stakeholders in the watershed should be made operational. These associations can take decisions in the best interest of all the people medicinal plants etc. concerned. The watershed programs that promoted participation at village level were found to be far more successful than those focused solely on (d) Decreasing the costs at which the gains are achieved and thereby increasing the modest 9 Integrated River Basin Management Society