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Watershed Development for Drought Proofing (WDDP)



The Hon’ble Chief minister in his budget speech of Feb-2019 has stated that “Watershed development programmes were being implemented in Karnataka State upto 2018-19 with Central Government grants. However from the year 2019-20, the Central Government has stopped grants for this beneficial scheme. In this background, there is need to implement drought proofing watershed activities in the watershed area from 2019-2024 in 100 drought hit and low ground water level taluks in covering an area of 3000 to 7500 hectares in each taluk, using Land Resource Inventory (LRI) and its precision farming recommendations on watershed development projects in saturation approach, in convergence with Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY). For the implementation of this project, a grant of Rs.100 crore has been provided during the year 2019-20”.

The total geographical area of State is 190.50 lakh hectare, out of which 129.70 lakh hectare, area is available for watershed treatment. So far 70.13 lakh hectare, area has been treated with watershed interventions through various watershed development programmes. The remaining 52.31 lakh ha is available for the scientific watershed treatment on the watershed basis.

Hence with this background, new watershed projects to the State have been planned to increase the income of the rainfed farmers, to manage the natural resources, to strengthen the local community based organisation, to provide livelihood activites to assettless persons, to increase the green cover, fodder, fuel and the ground water table in the project area.


  • To manage the natural resources based on watershed principle and/or by using the Scientific Land Resource Information to improve the rainfed area land productivity and its production capabilities.
  • To improve the soil and water conservation and ground water recharging.
  • To harvest rain water for moisture availability and protective irrigation.
  • To convert uncultivable waste land to cultivable land.
  • To improve the living status of the people of watershed area and also provide livelihood activities to assetless farmers in the project area through various quality skill based training programme there by providing employment opportunity at their door step.
  • To improve the soil health through improvement in soil carbon status.
  • To enhance the green cover in the watershed area.
  • To improve the availability of fodder, fuel and increase in the milk production.
  • To strengthen the community based organizations in order to manage the natural resources.

The projet area for watershed treatment area will be selected based on the following criteria:-

Karnataka State Remote Sensing Application Center (KSRSAC) has developed the watershed maps upto micro watershed levels. There are 3515 sub- watersheds in the State with 34,299 micro-watersheds. The thematic and cadastral maps of the above sub watersheds are available with the department. The following points are considered while selecting the project areas.

  1. Ground water exploited/vulnerable taluks
  2. Continuous drought over the years
  3. Contiguous untreated sub watersheds
  4. Readily available Land Resources Information of the project area
  5. More area available for watershed treatment
  6. Watershed treatment should be of ridge to valley concept


Preparatory Phase activities (1 Year):


Preparatory phase activities will be carried out to gain the confidence of the rural community before implementing the main project activities. Entry point activities which are related to natural resources management and immediate community needs will be implemented. Apart from this, base line survey, gram sabha, jatha, street plays, formation and strengthening of community based organisation (Self Help Groups, User Groups and watershed committees).The watershed activities shall be implemented through watershed committee, which is a sub committee of Gram Panchayath headed by President, Gram Panchayath and members are from SHGs, UGs and GP members. Detailed Project Reports will be prepared through Net planning by the watershed committees through the coordination of Project Implementing Agency (PIA) at taluk level.

Preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPR) by PIA and the consent of Grama sabha and Watershed Committees shall be obtained. Further the DPR will be technically scrutinized by District Level Technical Committee headed by Joint Director of Agriculture and thereafter placed before District Level Committee headed by Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Panchayath. Finally DPR will be approved by State Level Nodal Agency headed by Additional Chief Secretary and Development Commissioner. As per the approved DPR, watershed works will be implemented through watershed committees and PIAs.

This phase shall be implemented from 6 to 12 months.



Year wise action plan will be prepared for the activities, which are approved in the Gram sabha. Watershed Committees and PIAs will implement the activities. The soil and water conservation activities like Bund formation, Farm ponds, Check/vented dam, Nala bund and Percolation tanks will be constructed in the project area. Apart from this, Dryland horticulture, Forestry, Animal husbandry and Fisheries activities will be implemented. In addition Production systems activities, Livelihood activities are planned for the assetless persons through Self Helf Groups to take up the income generating activities.

In order to saturate the watershed, the project will be converged with MGNREGA and PMKSY-OI and other programmes.

This phase shall be implemented in 3 years.



After implementing the watershed development activities, activities for sustainable management of natural resources and up-scaling of successful experiences regarding farm production systems/off-farm livelihoods activities will be taken up. Documentation of successful experiences as well as lessons learnt for future use, sustainable utilization of developed natural resources, and involvement of Gram Panchayath for the post projects sustainability by using the Watershed Development Fund will be carried out.

This phase shall be implemented in 1 year.

The Land Resource Information and Hydrology assessment of rainfed watersheds conducted under World Bank supported Karnataka Watershed Development Project-II (SUJALA-III) shall be utilized for Watershed Planning and DPR preparation to ensure scientific planning and resource optimization.

The drought proofing of the rainfed watersheds in frequently drought affected / low ground water level taluks through Integrated Watershed Development would be carried out in convergence with Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojane-Other Intervention (PMKSY-OI) and other available programs as well.

While labour intensive works like Bunding and recharge Farm ponds etc and part of planting activities shall be implemented under MGNREGS, material intensive works like Check Dams/Vented Dams/Nala bunds etc, which can be linked to micro-irrigation, shall be implemented under PMKSY-OI and other available schemes.

Last Updated: 08-04-2022 12:51 PM Updated By: Naveen L R

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