8 Principles of Watershed Development:
1. Ridge-to-Valley: Begin from the hill top and move towards the valley bottom.
2. Do it in a technically sound way or don’t do it! Prioritise land (area) treatments over drainage line treatments.
3. Contour Line is the lifeline of watershed development. Follow contour line for as many treatments as possible.
4. Green cover is a key objective (trees, plants, shrubs, grasses). The mechanical measures are a means to achieve this.
5. Use lands based on Land Capability Classification -Afforestation and pastures on Class VI and VII lands; horticulture on Class III, IV and VI lands; crops on Class I-IV lands.
6. Maintain and repair structures to ensure sustainability.
7. Focus on unity among people and discipline: Voluntary labour (shramdaan), control over free grazing of animals and cutting of trees, etc.
8. Water Budgeting: Gram Sabha decisions on ground water use, micro-irrigation systems, regulation of borewell drilling and cropping patterns based on water budgeting
It’s crucial to remember that watershed development is the only solution to fight drought!
Source: Fr. Hermann Bacher, Co-Founder Chairman of WOTR (Known as the Father of the watershed development movement in Maharashtra)
WOTR (Watershed Organisation Trust) is Paani Foundation’s knowledge partner. To contact them, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and visit http://www.facebook.com/Watersheds