Watershed Development Programme (W D P)

Watershed Development Programme (W D P)

Watershed development refers to the conservation regeneration and the judicious use of all the resources – natural (like land, Water plants, animals) and human – within the watershed area.  Watershed Management tries to bring about the best possible balance in the environment between natural resources on the one side and man and animals on the other.  Since in is the man which is primarily responsible for degradation of environment, regeneration and conservation can only be possible by promoting awakening and participation among the people who inhabit the watersheds.

Man and his environment are interdependent. The changes in the environment directly affect the lives of the people depending on it. A degraded environment means degraded quality of life of the people. Environmental degradation can be tackled effectively through the holistic development of the watershed.  A watershed provides a natural geo-hydrological unit for planning any developmental initiative.

Geographical Details of India:

AREA                                                  (m.ha)
Total Geographical Area                      329 mha.
Records available                                 304 mha.       
Area fit for vegetation                          264 mha.
Are under Crops                                   142 mha.
Area under forest                                 67 mha.
Degraded Area in villages                  35 mha.            
Degraded Area with farmers               20 mha.

The New Guideline for Watershed Development:

1. The IWDP scheme is being implemented on the basis of new Guidelines for Watershed Development from 1.4.1995.  The new common guidelines envisage the bottling up approach whereby the Users’ Group themselves decide their work programme.

2. The strength of the Guidelines lies in the decentralization of decision making process by involving local Panchayati Raj Institutions, NGOs, Government Departments and the watershed community at the grass root level It is an effort on the part of the Govt. to remove the stumbling blocks that have delayed the process of development.  In fact, the initiatives taken by the DOWD aim at establishing a system under which village people can actually involve themselves in planning, implementation and monitoring of watershed development programmes.  In preparation of the Watershed Development Plan, Users and Self Help Groups and other people directly depending on the watershed are actually involved.

3. Another strength of these guidelines lies on the flexible approach followed in the method of release of funds, the area to be covered in each watershed as well as choice of components.

4. The new guidelines attempt to make the projects sustainable by establishing Watershed Development Fund and involving people in deciding equity issues and usufruct sharing mechanism.

Institutional Arrangements:

To make the programme successful, proper Institutional arrangement has been provided in the Guidelines from state level to village level.  These institutions help in making the programme broad based, sustainable and equitable.  These institutions are given below:

State Watershed Programme and Review Committee:








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