Watershed Development Division
Water, being the source of life, NAF has identified Watershed Development Program as an appropriate and important feature of its rural revitalisation programs to manage common natural resources and enable sustainable livelihood to the rural poor.
According to a 2017 report, agricultural sector accounts for more than 80% of all the water consumed in the country. Given the ever-growing population and the need to feed the last hungry soul of our nation, agricultural sector’s mammoth thirst for water will be insatiable without emergency actions.
At times, though the country receives above average rainfall, the scenes of drought ridden summers in the internal parts of the country persist. The scarcity of water during lean seasons is increasing every year. This is due to the lack of infrastructure to store water during monsoon and utilise them during lean seasons. On the other hand, the availability of underground water is also depleting because of the exploitation of the underground water table by uncontrolled withdrawal and lack of underground water restoration mechanisms.
Climate change is another challenge that faces our country. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC)’s 2018 report has identified India as one among the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Dynamically changing weather patterns caused by multiple factors such as global warming, pollution, change in ocean currents etc., leads to intense cyclones, unprecedented rainfalls and other climate induced disasters. These disasters result in soil erosion, desertification, floods etc. resulting in damage to the crops and destruction of the fields.
The poor state of water management in the country along with climate change shakes the food security and stands as an obstacle in the growth and development, of the nation. In these circumstances, watershed development stands as the panacea for a prosperous and thriving future.
NAF’s approach to Watershed Management is built around the principle of ‘making running water walk, walking water stand and standing water stay’.
NAF’s Watershed division effectively manages the biophysical, socioeconomic and institutional components of the watersheds through a multidisciplinary & multi-sectoral approach, using scientific knowledge from different fields and a combination of traditional wisdom and modern technologies, strategies, and techniques to create maximum possible benefit for the primary stakeholders.