Keywords: PWM, watershed model, rainfall, run-off water, India, Karnataka, participatory watershed management, rural areas, rural communities, groundwater use, agriculture, irrigation, socio-economic development, villages, rural development
Participatory watershed management (PWM): an approach for integrated development of rural India: a case study from Karnataka, southern India
Watershed management is an emerging concept for the efficient use of rain run-off in the rural areas of India. The approach to watershed management is participatory in nature, people friendly, location specific, processed based and geared to cater to the problems and needs of the rural communities. Operation of watershed management is ideal where the rainfall pattern is very short, uneven and there is no support of major and minor irrigation systems to enhance agricultural production. The principle of watershed management is the proper management of all the precipitation by way of collection, storage and efficient utilisation of run-off water and use of groundwater. The re-harvesting of run-off in the study area of watershed management is achieved by managing 25% of the total rainfall and 25% of the run-off to generate crop-growing area, through four re-harvesting mechanisms such as tanks, farm ponds, contour bunds and structures such as gully plugs and surface detention in depression. Participatory watershed management adopted in the study area promoted agriculture and allied operation and socio-economic development by achieving overall development of the villages.