Integrated Watershed Impact Assessment: Concepts and Empirics from Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan, Micro-Watershed Project of Maharashtra State of India

Main Article Content

Dr.Pravin Chavan, Mr.Amar Ekal, Hemant Salokhe


The availability of irrigation facilities is highly inadequate in India. Watershed Development (WSD) has been a part of India's national strategy to increase agricultural productivity and alleviate poverty in rainfed areas. Maharashtra, one of India’s richest states, witnessed the highest number of farmer suicides attributed towards monsoon failure, water scarcity, and drought. To reduce the dependency of agriculture on rainfall, the Maharashtra government had launched a new program named ‘Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan’ (water full village) on January 26, 2015. The program aims to make 5000 villages free of water scarcity every year. Under the program, micro irrigation systems were encouraged for proficient use of water for increasing the irrigated area. Economic Survey report of the state claim the scheme has created additional water storage capacity that led to making 19,655 villages permanently drought-free in the last five years. Besides, the scheme was criticized for its unscientific implementation. However, there is insufficient academic writing on the implementation and impact of the scheme. This paper has developed a conceptual framework of parameters and key indicators to be used for assessing the impact of the scheme. The study is based on an extensive literature review and focus interviews of beneficiary farmers & stakeholders of the scheme.

Watershed impact is a multifaceted concept that needs a holistic view for its assessment. Effectiveness of the intervention is to be assessed through measuring the change in socio-economic indicators, availability of drinking water, impact on village women, change in agriculture & cropping pattern, environmental benefits, and operational guidelines & community participation. The framework of parameters and indicators developed in this study will be useful for researchers, NGOs, and agencies involved in the implementation and evaluation of Jalyukt Shivar as well as other watershed projects.

Article Details