February 26, 2005

2005: Highlight # 15

How do watershed interventions impact groundwater recharge, cropping intensity and runoff coefficiencts? Talati and others present evidence from two sub-basins...

Local and Sub-basin Level Impact of Watershed Development Projects

Hydrological and Socio-economic Analysis for Two Sub-basins of Narmada

Jayesh Talati, M. Dinesh Kumar and R. Ravindranath

Intensive rainwater harvesting activities and groundwater development, which occur as an aftermath of watershed development program, have the potential to bring about socio-economic and hydrological changes at various levels in the basin.

Analyses shows that increased water harvesting and land treatment have resulted in improved groundwater recharge at the sub-basin and watershed level, thereby enabling cropping intensification. The activities also caused reduction in runoff downstream of the sub-basin, indicated by a lower estimated runoff coefficient.

There is a need to consider these socioeconomic and hydrological changes before planning and implementing new water resource development programs for ensuring sustainable resource use.

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