Nariyambudur Watershed

Nariyambudur Watershed

This project will help create a better, sustainable enviornement for the local vilagers. Villagers will work together to achieve a maximum level of efficieny. Project planning will be done in such a manner that the farmers and other villagers in the watershed area will take over financial management and maintenance of the project. If the watershed is implemented properly, it will not only benefit the current villagers, but generations to come.

Specific problems in Nariyampudur watershed

Based on the survey and studies carried out by TAPRISH, the following have been identified as the major problems in the selected watershed area.

  •   Depletion of groundwater
  •   Land degradation due to inappropriate agricultural practices
  •   Poor land and water management practices
  •   Failure of agriculture resulting in unemployment & migration
  •  Poor hygiene and low socio economic conditions
  •   Lack of awareness on environmental issues and objectives

The project aims at conserving and rejuvenating the natural Nariyampudur Watershed area. This is proposed to be done by improving the environmental conditions and development of the village.

The specific objectives of the project are as follows.

  •  Create awareness and educate villagers about
         • Conservation of land, rainwater, and soil.      • Vegitation through land utilization according to the required landscape.
  •  Teach proper agricultural practices.
  •  Plantations & pastureland development.
  •  Sustainable farming through optimum utilization of natural resources like land, water & vegetation.
  •  Livestock management.
  •  Promoting alternate livelihood sources to enhance income levels.


The availability of rainfall is minimal and the seasonal distribution of rainfall is irregular. Since over 70% of the rainfall is received during the North East monsoon period (September, October and November) it is essential to harvest the rainwater received during this short period. The water gathered will be efficiently used throughout the year.

Soil erosion is dangerously high during this rainfall period. The following area treatment measures will be executed to develop soil and water conservation.

Soil and water conservation

Area Treatment measures

  •  Field bunds with different cross sections.
  •  Pipe outlets for excess out flow water.
  •  Sowing grass seeds on the field causeways for stability and life.
  •  Establishing farm ponds.
  •  Pasture /Fodder development.
  •  Establishing agro forestry and horticulture.

Drainage Line Treatment measures

To store the excess water coming out from the fields, the following drainage line treatments will be established..

  •  Channel Forming.
  •  Deepening of percolation ponds.

Generation of alternate livelihood sources

In order to improve the living standards of the watershed community, the project includes promotion of activities that are economically remunerative and profitable. These activities will be selected based on raw material availability, local skill & knowledge, market availability and overall local suitability.

Capacity building of the watershed community

Capacity building of the watershed community is an integral component of the project. During the project period, training programmes, exposure visits and demonstrations will be conducted for various sections of the community. On the whole, the village will begin to realize the importance of their involvement from planning to implementation.

Salient (important) FEATURES OF THE PROJECT

The core foundation of the project is integrated watershed development with the participation of the entire watershed community. If the farmers get involeved and take part in the building of the watershed, their community will thrive in their future success. The villagers will manifest their responsibility through enforcing and abiding by social fencing. On the whole, a sense of community ownership of the project will be built in so that the watershed community takes initiative to manage and maintain the assets created.

Village Watershed Committee (VWC)

The Village Watershed Committee is constituted by members from 4 villages in Nariyambudur. Under no circumstances will caste and gender representation be involved in the building of the watershed area. The Nariyampudur VWC and TAPRISH have been jointly involved in project planning and implementation. TAPRISH and VWC work hard to make sure everything concerning the watershed is successful.

Project takeover by the watershed community

During the first and second years of project implementation, the VWC will be trained on effective implementation of the watershed activities under the guidance of TAPRISH. Taprish will gradually withdraw from implementation and hand over the same to the VWC.

At present, TAPRISH and the VWC are joint signatories for authorizing withdrawal of funds. TAPRISH is planning to transfer the power of joint signatory to a new representative from the VWC, who will be selected during the Second year.

However, after handing over implementation and financial control, TAPRISH will continue to provide guidance and suggestions for sustainable follow up.

Maintenance and follow up

To maintain the assets created in the watershed area, a maintenance fund is created. The fund will enable follow up action, to safeguard the resources developed. 50% of Shramdhan cost and 1% of the Project measure cost are set aside for maintenance fund. TAPRISH is taking steps to encourage farmers in the watershed area to contribute Rs.100 per head, per year through the VWC to add to the maintenance fund account.


Project management requires both technical as well as social management skills. For technical expertise, TAPRISH is equipped with a technical team comprising of Agricultural Engineers, Agronomist, and Social workers. On the other hand, a co-operative and committed VWC adds strength to managing the social component of the project. In addition to this, TAPRISH has a core team and consultants with wide knowledge on watershed development. Consultancy services are also being rendered to other organizations.

The problems specific to the Nariyampudur watershed area can be classified as follows.

Environmental problems

Soil Erosion

A major part of the Nariyampudurwatershed area is affected by soil erosion. The lack of soil conservation measures, depletion of natural vegetative cover, inappropriate agriculture practices, change in land use pattern and climatic conditions have contributed to the removal of topsoil cover.

Ground Water Exploitation

Due to the lack of water conservation measures, a large volume of water runs off and groundwater is not recharged. To meet the growing needs of water, many open wells and bore wells are dug for agricultural purposes. Lack of water management practices in agriculture and failure of monsoon further aggravates groundwater depletion.

Social Problems

Lack of Awareness

An analysis of the survey indicates that the literacy rate is 60% in the watershed area. Lack of awareness on environment protection, sustainable agriculture & proper use of natural resources is a major issue to be addressed. Many farmers still depend on chemical fertilizers and pesticides without any concern about the degradation of soil & water. Empowerment of women also requires special attention.

Low socio economic condition

The scale of poverty is significant in the project area as much as unemployment, low purchasing capacity and lack of knowledge about the unsustainability of growing demands. This adds to the backward socio economic profile of the village.

Climate and Rainfall

In the Nariyampudur watershed, the minimum and maximum temperatures range is 330℃ . The climatic conditions are favourable for dry land farming. Rainwater is not being conserved in any form, as a result of which there is excess run off. The average rainfall over the last 10 years is 1132 mm.

Soil Survey

Samples of soil have been collected from the target area at different strata, depending on the land use pattern. A sample was collected and sent to the Soil Testing Lab, Utiramerur. The results revealed the following:

Sandy clay textures of soil available in the target area. The sandy clay loam and clay loam soil have high water holding capacity but less infiltration rate. Sandy loam soil has less water holding capacity but high infiltration rate. But both the soil conditions are favorable for all types of crops. According to the soil survey ridge to valley the PH rate is 7.1 to 8.4. It depicts that the soil is rich in salinity. As the soil is saline, the rate of runoff is high. The root cause of runoff is absence of ground cover due to over grazing, deforestation, high rate of evaporation, salt incursion in the ground water and the usage of high rate of calcium and sodium condensed fertilizers.

Groups of salinity (C, D and E) are identified at Nariyampudur Watershed (based on USDA classification). To over come the problem of salinity, people have to concentrate on manual methods, application of organic manure and appropriate crop selection.

Land capability classes and present land use production

Land was categorized into eight classes based on pedagogical studies. In the Nariyampudur watershed area, four classes were identified such as II, III,. In Class II land, sheet erosion is more. In Class II land, cultivation of vegetables, cereals and flower crops is practised. In Class III land, cultivation is not practised and in a few areas, dry land crops are cultivated.

Most of the open wells are dry at present. In bore wells, water is available only below 465 feet from the surface. A few wells are used for seasonal irrigation once a year. For drinking purpose, people are dependent on open wells, which do not meet the requirements. Hence bore wells are dug to a depth of about 700 feet. There is also inequality in distribution of water.

The water table has gone down. The big farmers alone are able to cultivate because they are capable of spending on having their own bore wells. But in the case of small farmers, they are not financially strong enough to spend on bore wells.

Restoration of water balance

Since the groundwater level is steadily depleting, a water balance study was undertaken in the entire Nariyampudur watershed area, in order to ascertain the status of water availability and requirement. This study has brought out that groundwater withdrawal is much higher than the extent of groundwater recharge. In order to restore this equilibrium, the project consists of the following measures.

  •  Renovation of existing storage structures.
  •  Establishment of water conservation structures.
  •  Restricting excessive groundwater exploitation through bore wells.
  •  Propagating optimum utilization of water through appropriate crop.
  • Selection and water management

    Therefore, the proposed treatment measures have been designed to ensure increase in the groundwater level through maximum conservation of water in the watershed area.

    CBP Experience

    The CBP has proved highly useful in building community participation and interest in implementing the programme. It has also increased their level of commitment towards conservation of their natural resources. The special features of the CBP are as follows.


    The extent of community ownership of the programme was witnessed by way of shramdhan contributed by the VWC along with the active participation and involvement of the targeted families. The details of the work undertaken by way of shramdhan details are as follows. “A” Registers are being maintained for recording the labour rolls during shramdhan.

    The above specified shramdhan works have been carried out.


    Composition and functioning of the Committee (MVWC)

    The Nariyampudur Village Watershed Committee has already been formed and consists of the following 11 representatives from within the villages of the Nariyampudur watershed.


    • The CBP work provided hands on learning and training experience as well as a demonstration of the likely impact of watershed development.
    • Concerted efforts will be taken towards facilitating the targeted farmers & women to work together and work with the PFA in developing the watershed.
    • The VWC along with the PFA will sensitize the people in the watershed regarding ban on tree felling, unregulated grazing, digging of bore wells and eschewing water intensive crops. The committee will enforce strict discipline.
    • In the initial period, we faced some problems in eliciting shramdhan & completing the work, since the people were unaware of the watershed development concept and its benefits. However, we addressed this problem by conducting a number of awareness programmes, which have resulted in enhanced people’s co-operation. To form the VWC we have conducted village level meetings. It has taken time to implement the work. Lack of rainfall, was the major problem we faced. The structures were established paying due attention to quality and cost-effectiveness.

      Treatment measures proposed

      Area Treatment measures

      •  Establishing field bunds.
      •   Pipe outlets and sowing grass seeds.
      •  Establishing of farm ponds
      •  Establishing agro forestry and agro horticulture.
      •  Pasture development.

      Drainage Line Treatment measures

      •  Channel Forming.
      •  Deepening of percolation ponds.

      Proposed land use and agriculture production

      In the Nariyampudur Watershed, farming area constitutes only one third of the total area. To add to this, even in the cultivable area, highly water-intensive crops are grown, which yield very low net profits. Therefore, we have proposed to cultivate vegetables, orchard crops, cereals and pulses. Moreover, we are initiating the adoption of organic farming practices such as usage of organic fertilizers & bio pesticides. Through this, we expect to standardize agricultural production, income and safeguard natural resources such as soil & water.

      Live stock and fodder availability

      Nariyampudur Watershed has a total livestock population of 605. The fodder requirements are being met from crops like maize and paddy, which are cultivated both under rain fed and irrigated conditions. The people in the watershed mainly depend on animal husbandry & milch animal rearing. These activities require large quantities of fodder. The extent of fodder availability is insufficient to meet the livestock requirements. This imbalance has to be addressed by either controlling livestock population or increasing fodder cultivation. We are encouraging the watershed community to use public land for grazing purposes or to control livestock population in tune with the carrying capacity of the watershed.

      Demographic details

      The total population in Nariyampudur watershed is 5142. The total number of households is 1122. The majority of the people fall under the age group of 15 to 40 years. One-third of the population falls in the 40 – 50 age group. The literacy rate is 66%. Very few persons have completed graduation. The SC population is 41.5% and the remaining belong to other communities.

      Land holding pattern

      In the watershed area, about 63% people hold less than 1 ha. of land. Very few people hold land above 4 ha.. Majority of the people are small and marginal farmers. Of the total area, small farmers cover 46%. The average land per household is 0.80 ha.

      Income assessment

      The survey indicates that the major source of income for the villagers is non-agricultural wage and private sector employment. The next in line is income from agricultural wage employment, woodcutting and medicinal plants collection. The major finding is that large

      farmers are not highly benefited by the agriculture. The decreasing dependence on agriculture as a source of livelihood has been clearly brought out.