Water is an integral part of land/soil productivity. Its misuse can cause both degradation and erosion of soils. Management of water resource is considered to necessary for well being of human life as well as crop yields. There is a gap between the seasonal availability of water and its equitable supply throughout the year. Accordingly the storage of water and passage through soils is very important. It is well known that about 70% area in this country is subject to varying degree of water stress. There are areas with heavy rainfall but water problems become predominant during non-monsoon periods. It is thus a matter of concern to create a redistribution system and requirements as and when it is needed. Although there are many methods for water management, the two important methods are mentioned as follows.
(I) Watershed management
(II) Rainwater harvesting
(I) Watershed Management :
A watershed is an area bounded by the divide line of water flow so that a distinct drainage basin of any small or big water course or stream can be identified. The rain falling over this area will flow through only one point of the whole watershed. In other words, the entire area will be drained only by one stream or water course. In this way we will have definitive water resource which can be assessed and analyzed for planning for the optimum utilization through ground water, wells, tube wells, small ponds, bigger tanks or reservoirs. Watershed management is very important for rainfall and resultant run-off. More than 900 watersheds of the flood prone rivers have been identified and are at present in operation.
The development of delayed through propagation of water harvesting technology is also based on the concept of micro watershed. Himalayas are one of the most critical watersheds in the world. The damage to reservoirs and irrigation systems and misused Himalayan slopes is mounting as are the costs for the control measures during the flood season every year. The vast hydroelectric power potential can be harnessed from the Himalayas watersheds on a sustainable basis.
(II) Rain water Harvesting :
Water harvesting technologies have established the economic and practical feasibility for inclusion in integrated watershed management plans. A number of such structures in the Hirakud catchment have revealed that these are desirable for protection of land, restoration of degraded land for creation of micro irrigation potential of reuse of water. This would also help in increased production based productivity for generation of employment of opportunities. The concept of watershed management has been extended to agro-industrial watersheds which take care of agro-industrial development.