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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Watershed management refers to implementing land use practices and water management practices to protect and improve the quality of the water and other natural resources within a watershed. Explain how watershed management is key for sustainable and inclusive growth.

    20 Oct, 2021 GS Paper 3 Bio-diversity & Environment

    Approach

    • Introduce the concept of watershed management.
    • Discuss how watershed management could lead towards sustainability.
    • Discuss the issues related to watershed management and inclusiveness.
    • Discuss the role of participatory planning in watershed management.
    • Conclude the answer by stating the relationship between man and environment and its role in human development.

    Introduction

    • Watershed is a geo-hydrological unit draining to a common point by a system of drains.
    • Watershed development refers to the conservation, regeneration and the judicious use of all the natural resources particularly land, water, vegetation and animals and human development within the watershed.

    Body

    • Watershed Management and Sustainability: Watershed management is a comprehensive program to utilize the available water and other resources in such a way that:
      • It protects and enhances water resources, moderate floods and reduces silting up of tanks and conserves rainwater for crops and thus mitigate droughts.
      • It recharges the groundwater table.
      • Restores soil fertility and helps in soil conservation.
      • Restores water for drinking and other human purposes.
      • It helps to fight climate change and promotes sustainable agriculture.
      • Protects biodiversity of a region, if managed properly can restore biodiversity.
    • Watershed Management and Inclusiveness:
      • Livelihood: In a country like India, where the majority of the population is engaged in livelihoods largely dependent on natural resources such as agriculture.
        • Factors like quality, availability and access to natural resources occupy a crucial role in influencing incomes earned by households.
      • Women: The women are the main users of water for household and small-scale agriculture, and have limited access to resources.
        • They are affected the most when water catchments are degraded.
      • Poverty and Marginalization: The primary cause for poverty and marginalization in rainfed rural areas is low crop and livestock productivity coupled with deterioration in the quality of land and other natural resources.
    • Participatory Approach: Watershed development approach is based on participatory planning following a bottom-up approach for:
      • Developing an appropriate plan for execution.
      • Empowerment and employment of people through establishment and strengthening of local level institutions.
      • Conservation and appropriate management of watershed’s natural resources through holistic development of the watershed.

    Conclusion

    There is a close relationship between man and environment and any changes in the environment directly affect the lives of the people depending on it for their sustenance.

    Therefore, it is utmost important to tackle environmental degradation effectively for the holistic development of the watershed for addressing the issues of human development.

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