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12 December 2006 Programs for Watershed-Plus phase for rainfed regions in India
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Watershed-based development is the strategy for sustainable growth in the vast rain-fed regions of India since 1980s to enhance agricultural production, conservation of natural resources and raising rural livelihood of farming communities. Although soil and water conservation was initially the primary objective of watershed program that saw large public investment since inception, later its focus shifted to principles of equity and enhancing rural livelihood opportunities and more recently to sustainable development since mid-1990s. At present a major emphasis under watershed program is the regeneration of degraded fragile lands in rain-fed regions. Several noteworthy watershed programs have been carried out since inception that have yielded sterling results while many others have yielded little by way of unbalanced development because of improper characterization of watersheds and poor project planning and implementation. Tools of Geomatics like satellite data, GIS and GPS besides conventional ones like field survey, topographical and cadastral maps along with traditional multi-disciplinary methods like PRA, soil and water analysis, socio-economic survey etc. provide insight into characterization of watersheds, project formulation and proper implementation of such development programs. The present paper illustrates the methodology for characterization of watersheds using the tools of Geomatics on one hand, besides exhibiting its utility for scaling-out the program benefits like sustaining higher agricultural productivity, enhancing irrigation efficiency, equity, enhanced rural livelihood opportunities, women empowerment, drought-proofing etc. during Watershed-Plus phase in the coming decades, on the other.
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Kausalya Ramachandran and Y. S. Ramakrishna "Programs for Watershed-Plus phase for rainfed regions in India", Proc. SPIE 6411, Agriculture and Hydrology Applications of Remote Sensing, 64110V (12 December 2006);

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