Watershed management refers to the efficient management and conservation of surface and groundwater resources. It involves prevention of runoff and storage and recharge of groundwater through various methods like percolation tanks, recharge wells, etc. The aim is to bring about balance between natural resources on the hand and society on the other. The success of watershed development largely depends upon community participation.
Watershed management can play a significant role in sustainable development, but this can be effective only as long as people accept that freshwater is scarce and needs management. More than half the problems associated with water management can be addressed if we stop taking water resource for granted, especially in the urban cities where streams are polluted and negligent attitude results in wastage. Haryali, Neeru-Meeru, and Arvary Pani Sansad are conservation projects addressed to tackle water scarcity in rural regions. But huge quantum of water mismanagement happens in urban areas, which generally goes unnoticed. The Chennai floods of 2015 stands testimony to this.
Though watershed development projects in some areas have been successful in rejuvenating environment and economy, there are only a few success stories. There is a need to generate awareness regarding watershed development and management among people in the country. It is only through this integrated water resource management approach, can water availability be ensured on sustainable basis.
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