Analyzing impact of various Agricultural Water Management Interventions on watershed hydrology and various ecosystem trade-offs in Bundelkhand region of Central India

Bundelkhand region of Central India is a hot spot of water scarcity, land degradation, poverty and poor socio-economic status. ICRISAT along with ICAR-CAFRI with support of Coco cola India Foundation developed a model watershed, namely Parasai-Sindh watershed, comprising three villages and covering nearly 1,250 ha, has completed first phase of various AWM intervention between 2012 and 2015. A series of check dams on main river stream were constructed which all together developed 125,000 m3 of storage capacity. These structures harvested nearly 250,000 m3 of surface runoff every monsoon season, and have facilitated groundwater recharge as the average water table increased by 2.5 meters. This has increased cropping intensity by 30-50% especially during post monsoonal season. Due to easy access of drinking water for domestic animals, agricultural and livestock productivity has been enhanced. As large number of hydrology, biophysical, meteorological and crop yield data were collected from 2012 onwards; this project is currently targeted to analyze the impact of various water harvesting interventions on i) hydrological processes; ii) crop intensification. Moreover upstream-downstream ecosystem trade-off is being analyzed by applying modeling approach.