Rainwater conservation and soil erosion prevention are vital for the economic and financial sustainability of dry land agriculture. An integrated watershed development programme is thus a means of achieving these goals. Presently, integrated watershed management is receiving worldwide recognition as an effective model for watershed planning. A watershed is considered the basic geographical unit for developing any plan by integrating various social, economic, and policy factors with modern science. Hence, it is an approach to develop the basic resources for sustainable life support. The present study was conducted to assess the impacts of the watershed development programme on the social and biophysical aspects in a micro-watershed area of Cooch Behar district, West Bengal, India. This study confirmed that the project had positive effects that strengthened the socio-personal and economic characteristics of the farmers and improved the biophysical environment of the farms. The soil and water conservation efforts have increased the total cultivable area as well as improved the irrigation and drainage facilities in the micro-watershed units, thereby increasing the acreage and productivity of crops.
Social and biophysical impacts of watershed development programmes: experiences from a micro-watershed area in India
P. K. Pal, Bablu Ganguly, Deepa Roy, Anamika Guha, Amita Hanglem, Sabita Mondal; Social and biophysical impacts of watershed development programmes: experiences from a micro-watershed area in India. Water Policy 1 August 2017; 19 (4): 773–785. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wp.2017.189
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