A watershed, synonymous with catchment or basin, is made up of the natural resources in the basin especially the water, soil and vegetation factors. The comprehensive development of a basin to make productive use of all its natural resources and also protect them is termed as water shed management. This includes land improvements, rehabilitation and other technical work as well as the human consideration. Panchayats have a big role to play in the Watershed Management programme some of its role are:

  • Forming a group of local people who can help in the development, implementation and functioning of the programme.
  • The Panchayats can also help in the identification of the topography of the area, type of wastelands etc. which can be used for plantation to control soil erosion.
  • Local community parallel to their farming activities can contribute in construction of dykes, bunds, drainage system for the rain water harvesting system.
  • The Panchayat can help in creating awareness among local people and can instill a feeling of participation among them.
  • The Panchayats can act as an agency for the follow up of the programme.
  • They can share their problems with the implementing agencies so that they will come to know about the present status or picture of the area.
  • Panchayats can provide their organizational help in providing the adequate information about the local resources and requirement of people for proper planning of water shed management for the area to the implementing agency.
  • The Panchayat can help in the rehabilitation of the people and resources.
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