National Emblem Ashok Chakra

Government of India
Ministry of Rural Development
Department of Land Resources
New Delhi, India

Guidelines for Watershed Development Programme


Watershed Development Projects have been taken up under different programmes launched by the Government of India. The Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP) and the Desert Development Programme (DDP) adopted the watershed approach in 1987. The Integrated Wasteland Development Projects scheme (IWDP) taken up by the National Wasteland Development Board in 1989 also aimed at developing wastelands on a watershed basis. This programme has now been brought under the administrative jurisdiction of the Department of Wastelands Development in the Ministry of Rural Development. The fourth major programme based on the watershed concept is the National Watershed Development Programme in Rain fed Areas (NWDPRA) under the Ministry of Agriculture.

So far, these programmes have laid down their own separate guidelines, norms, funding patterns and technical components based on their respective and specific aims. While the Desert Development Programme focused on reforestation to arrest the growth of hot and cold deserts, the Drought Prone Areas Programme concentrated on non-arable lands and drainage lines for in-situ soil and moisture conservation, agro-forestry, pasture development, horticulture and alternate land uses. The Integrated Wasteland Development Projects, on the other hand, made silvipasture, soil and moisture conservation on wastelands under government or community or private control as their predominant activity. The NWDPRA combines the features of all these three programmes with the additional dimension of improving arable lands through better crop management technologies.

While the focus of these programmes may have differed, the common theme amongst these programmes has been their basic objective of land and water resource management for sustainable production. The Technical Committee constituted by the Ministry of Rural Development under the Chairmanship of Prof. Hanumantha Rao, studied the implementation and impact of the DPAP, DDP and also the IWDP programmes all over the country and recommended that a common set of operational guidelines, objectives, strategies and expenditure norms for watershed development projects should be evolved integrating the features of the three programmes under the Ministry of Rural Development.

These Guidelines have been formulated accordingly keeping in view, the following important factors that underline these three programmes.

The Technical Aspect :-

Scientists have developed appropriate technologies to find solutions to most problems relating to watershed treatment. They range from simple check-dams to large percolation/irrigation tanks, from vegetative barriers to contour bunds. However, experience has shown that in a large percentage of cases, the farmers/villagers do not show much enthusiasm for adopting these on account of several factors such as high initial investments, high operational/maintenance costs, or high technical input requirement. Further, in many cases, while the technology is quite suitable and simple, it is still unacceptable to the villagers on account of the socio-economic realities at the ground level which hinder its adoption. On the other hand, the farmers and the village community have evolved their own technologies based on local knowledge and materials which are cost-effective, simple and easy to operate and maintain. While these may be practical innovations, they may not be the best technological options for the whole of the watershed taken as an integrated system.

During the recent past several attempts have been made by INDIAN COUNCIL OF AGRICULTURE RESEARCH (ICAR)/STATE AGRICULTURE UNIVERSITIES (SAU) scientists, and many VAs working on watershed projects, to investigate the scientific basis of local technical innovations. This has led the scientists to either give validation to the farmers practices or improve upon their technical content without losing their comparative advantage of cost-effectiveness and simple and easy usefulness. These Guidelines aim at encouraging this trend amongst the Project Implementations Agencies (refer to para-31) and the Research Institutions (refer to para-74) with a view to ensuring upgradation and adoption of low-cost local technologies and materials for sustainable watershed development.

The Human Factor :-

Experience has shown that watershed development projects under different programmes often failed to achieve their physical and financial targets on account of inappropriate administrative arrangements or inadequate management skills of the project staff. Even in cases where progress has been satisfactory, development has not been sustainable in terms of operation and maintenance of assets created and common property resources because of inadequate participation by the village communities and user groups (refer to para-75). While the programme guidelines do emphasise the developmental programmes, most successful experiments, largely of Voluntary Agencies (VA) and a few from the governmental agencies, indicate that success is achieved through Government’s/VA’s participation in the peoples programmes rather than the other way around.

The planning and implementation of watershed development projects involve the project staff of the implementation agency, whether governmental or non-governmental, and the village community that is directly or indirectly dependent on the natural resources in the watershed area. Sufficient care needs to be bestowed on their orientation, skills, upgradation and motivation. The project staff need training in technical content as well as the skill to recognize and improve upon indigenous technical knowledge. They also need to be trained in the tools and techniques of project management, Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) methods, community organisation and other administrative and accounting procedures.

The villagers need training and exposure to modern scientific and technical methods, entrepreneurial skills to identify and exploit opportunities, community organisation and team building to work in user groups. These guidelines, provide for institutional arrangement and funding for community organisation and training components.

Funding Sources :-

Presently the Ministry of Rural Development funds watershed development schemes under DPAP, DDP and IWDP. A decision has now been taken that 50% of the I-JRY and 50% of Employment Assurance Scheme will also be earmarked for taking up watershed development projects in DPAP/DDP districts. Adding the State Governments contributions under these centrally sponsored schemes, it is expected that from 1995-96, substantial funds would be available for watershed development projects.

Attempts have been made in the past to dovetail different schemes / programmes in order to achieve greater impact at the implementation level. However, it has been found that coordination and convergence of different programmes to a single area suffers from several administrative problems. Therefore, it has been decided that the five programmes mentioned above viz. DPAP, DDP, IWDP, I-JRY (50%) and Employment Assurance Scheme (50%) will take up Watershed development on mutually exclusive basis at the village level. Thus, a village/watershed would either be covered under DPAP or DDP or IWDP or I-JRY (50%) or EAS (50%) for its source of funding for taking up all the activities envisaged in the watershed development project. The implementation of the projects would be governed by these guidelines which shall be common for all watershed development projects under all the five programmes of the Ministry of Rural Development.

Operational Flexibility :-

Previous guidelines on these programmes concentrated on laying down the objectives, components, cost-norms and steps required to be taken to enable the state governments to formulate watershed development projects but lacked adequate instructions on now to implement the projects once the projects are sanctioned. This has led to considerable divergence in implementation procedures in different states and even within the states in different projects. In any cases, desirable objectives laid down in the guidelines, such as peoples participation, have been completely neglected. And in some cases, progress has been poor since sufficient attention was not given to operational details which led to problems in implementation. The present Guidelines while outlining the broad contours of various implementation stages of the watershed development projects, provide sufficient operational flexibility at the state, district and project levels to enable them to respond to differing situations and aspirations of the village communities and user groups.



The Watershed Development Programme in Drought Prone/Desert/Non-forest wasteland Areas will be implemented by taking up projects for development of watersheds of 500 hectares each (approximately) in every village in a phased manner. The aims of any project or activity comprise of a set of purposes or goals describing the benefit that would flow out of the project and the likely groups of people who would benefit and end result in concrete physical terms that would be achieved by the end of the project, and a set of norms or criteria which are measurable and quantifiable to assess whether the end result has successfully achieved the purposes or not. For each such Watershed Development Project, the Project Objectives, End Results & Success Criteria would be as follows:-

Project Objectives :-

The objectives of each Watershed Development Project will be:-

i) To promote the economic development of the village community which is directly or indirectly dependent on the watershed through:-

Optimum utilization of the watershed’s natural resources like land, water, vegetation, etc. that will mitigate the adverse effects of drought and prevent further ecological degradation.

Employment generation and development of the human and other economic resources of the village in order to promote savings and other income-generation activities.

To encourage restoration of ecological balance in the village through:-

Sustained community action for the operation and maintenance of assets created and further development of the potential of the natural resources in the watershed.
Simple, easy and affordable technological solutions and institutional arrangements that make use of and build upon, local technical knowledge and available materials.

iii) Special emphasis to improve the economic and social condition of the resources-poor and the disadvantaged sections of the Watershed Community such as the asset less and the women through:-

More equitable distribution of the benefits of land and water resources development and the consequent bio mass production. Greater access to income generating opportunities and focus on their human resource development.

End Results:-

Each Watershed Development Project is expected to achieve the following results by the end of the project period:-
All the works/activities that are planned for the treatment and development of the drainage lines, arable and non-arable lands in the watershed area are completed with the active participation and contribution of the user groups.

The user groups/Panchayats have willingly taken over the operation and maintenance of the assets created and made suitable administrative and financial arrangements for their maintenance and further development.

All the members of the Watershed Development Committee (refer to para-37) and staff such as Watershed Secretary and Volunteers (refer to para-38) have been given orientation and training to improve their knowledge and upgrade technical/management and community organisational skills to a level that is appropriate for the successful discharge of their responsibilities on withdrawal of the Watershed Development Team from the Project.

The village community would have been organised into several, homogeneous self-help groups (refer to para-77) for savings and other income generation activities which would have achieved sufficient commitment from their members and built up financial resources to be self-sustaining.

Success Criteria :-

Although circumstances may greatly vary from project to project, it is important that a few measurable and quantifiable success criteria with the lowest common denominator are fixed for different categories of works/activities under the projects to evaluate their success or otherwise in terms of the stated purposes. The Success criteria given below are minimal in number and performance standards. The State Governments may supplement these with more success criteria if found desirable or prescribe higher performance standards. However, care should be taken to ensure that the additional success criteria are internally consistent with the purposes and end results of the projects and also do not conflict with the criteria laid down.

The success Criteria can be put in two categories. The first category is of such criteria as are specific to each Watershed Development Project (refer to para-86). These are essentially technical parameters to evaluate watershed treatment/development activities. The second type are of general character and would be applicable to all the watershed development projects. Each watershed development plan shall fix both types of success criteria. These are described in the following paragraphs :-

Specific Technical Criteria :-

Qualitative aspects of the works executed percentage of survival, existence and maintenance of assets created gully plugs, contour bunds and check-dams.

Productive Aspects – Production of usufructs like fodder and grass, fuel wood and minor timber.

Other quantifiable benefits – Recharging of wells down stream of the watershed, prevention of soil run off, effects on increase of soil productivity through increase of bio mass and humus in the soil.

Physical and financial targets and milestones throughout the project period.

Employment generation targets, minimum wages and labour material components ratios (60:40) for the watershed as a unit as per the norms under I-JRY/EAS.

General Criteria :-

These deal with performance appraisal in terms of percentage of achievements in works programme, community organisation and training.

For Project Works/Activities:-

Around 80% of the watershed area is covered with treatment or development activities.

Around 80% of the number of project activities/works are implemented through user groups.

Around 80% of the number of works are completed within time and cost estimates.

Wherever local technical knowledge for engineering designs or other technical solutions to specific problems have been identified as appropriate for certain works/activity, around 80% of the number of such works/activities and improve them and then use them in the works/activities.

Around 80% of the technologies for crop management / afforestation / animal husbandry / horticulture, etc. are adopted by roughly 50% members of the user groups.

Around 80% of the completed works or common property resources are taken over for operations and maintenance by the user groups or the community/Panchayat.

Self-Help Groups :-

Around 50% of the watershed community, that is, those villagers who are directly or indirectly dependent on the watershed, are enrolled as members of at least one self-help group.

Separate self-help groups are organized for women, scheduled castes/tribes, agricultural labour, shepherds.

Around 80% of the SHGs :-

meet regularly at least once in a month and take all their decisions by common consensus amongst the members.

transact business with around 50% of the resources generated from amongst the members.

have timely recoveries of around 80% of the outstanding.

maintain their accounts up-to-date.

For User Groups :-

Around 50% of the families in the watershed community are represented in at least one user-group.

Around 80% of the watershed development works/activities are carried out through the concerned user groups.

Around 80% of the user groups :-

meet regularly once in a month and take all decisions through common consensus amongst the members.

have around 80% members who have given their voluntary donation/contributions for the related project work/activity in terms of cash, kind or labour, as per the prescribed norm.

submit their accounts regularly to the Watershed Development Committee and the Watershed Development Team.

actually take over the operations and maintenance of the completed community works or activities on common property resources.

For Training :-

Around 80% of the Multi-Disciplinary team members, user and self-help group members, Watershed Development Committee members and Watershed Secretary and Volunteers are given training as per project plan.

Selection of District/Block :- The Watershed Projects under DPAP/DDP/IWDP/EAS (50%)/I-JRY (50%) would be implemented in the districts and the blocks that have been notified by Government of India under the respective programmes. A list of these Districts/blocks covered under these schemes as on 1/10/94 is given at Annexure – I

Selections of Villages :- Keeping in view the strategy of peoples participation for sustainable watershed development, the following criteria are laid down for selecting villages:-

Selection shall be made of only those villages from where peoples participation is assured through voluntary donations/contributions in terms of labour, raw materials, cash, etc. for the developmental activities as well as for the operation and maintenance of the assets created. The minimum norms for such contributions are:-

For investments on community works/development of common property resources such as pasture lands, social forestry, community nurseries, etc. on public or private lands, at least 5% of the cost of investment shall be contribution from the community. This may come from the village community / panchayat or users who are likely to derive benefit from these investments.

For investments on individual works on private property, at least 10% of the value of work/investment must come from the beneficiary users. However, in the case of Scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and persons identified as below the poverty line, the minimum contribution shall be 5%.

A resolution from the Gram Panchayat to the effect that the village community/Panchayat is willing to take over, operate and maintain the physical assets that will be created as a part of the watershed development project.

A resolution from the Gram Panchayat to the effect that the Gram Panchayat in the case of common property resources like fisheries tanks, common pasture lands, community forests/wood lots etc., and the watershed community in the case of other community assets created under the project, shall be willing to share the benefits from these assets with the weaker sections of society such as Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes, women and other persons below the poverty line in an equitable manner.

The receipt of contribution from the community/individuals does not mean that government’s investment on the works/activities would go down to that extent. Government shall meet the full cost of the works/activities on 100% basis. The public contributions would be acceptable in the form of free labour or materials. Where such contributions are received, a sum equal to the monetary value of the free labour & materials would be taken from the Watershed Project Account and deposited in a separate Watershed Development Fund (refer to para-84) in each village for future operations and maintenance of the assets created after the project is over. Cash contributions in lieu of free labour or materials shall be directly deposited in the WDF. And this Fund shall be operated only by the watershed users themselves.

Subject to the above conditions, preference may be given to those villages:-

Where some VA/KRISHI VIGYAN KENDRA (KVK)/other government or private institutions like Agricultural University Research Stations, Public Undertakings, Cooperatives, Private Sector Companies/Organizations, Banks etc. are working and willing to take on the responsibility of project implementation.

Where the village community has already been successfully organized into homogeneous groups for thrift and credit activity, Development of Women & Children in Rural Areas (DWACRA), Social forestry, joint forest management committees, community-based convergence of services (CBCS) groups, etc.

Where other social and community-based campaigns such as literacy campaign, family welfare, prohibition, etc. have been successfully organized in the recent past.

Where water is allocated on priority basis and other facilities are provided to ‘serve’ the lands of marginal farmers and women.

Selection of Watersheds:- A watershed is a geo-hydrological unit or an area that drains at a common point. In each selected village, a watershed of approximately 500 hectares shall be identified and selected by the Watershed Development Team in consultation with the Panchayat/Village Community. The size of the watershed has been fixed keeping an average norm in view. The calculation of the workload and expenses of a PIA have been worked out keeping this factor in mind. However, should it not be possible to find watersheds of this size the area can be increased or decreased keeping in view the fact that the PIA handles a total area of 5000 to 6200 Hectare. The following criteria may be used in propritising the selection of the watershed :

Watershed which has acute shortage of drinking water.

Watershed which has a large population of scheduled castes/scheduled tribes dependent on it.

Watershed which has a preponderance of wastelands.

Watershed which has a preponderance of common lands.

Watershed where actual wages are significantly lower than the minimum wages.

Watershed which is contiguous to another watershed which has already been developed/ is selected for development.

Watersheds which had been previously taken up for comprehensive development/treatment works under any of the programmes like DPAP/DDP/NWDPRA/IWDP shall not be taken up again. However, if the specific area of the watershed now identified had not previously benefited from any development works, even though it was a part of a larger watershed taken up under any of the programmes it may be selected for watershed development project.

Five hundred hectares is a general norm and if on actual survey, a watershed is found to have slightly less or more area. It may be taken up for development. Even small contiguous watershed with an approximate total area of 500 hectares may be taken up.

Though a watershed should normally fall within the village boundaries, if a small part of the watershed area falls outside the village boundary, it may still taken up for development with the consent of the neighbouring village/Panchayat.




Considering the massive investment in the Watershed Development Programmes envisaged from 1995-96 onwards and their likely spread to a very large number of villages in the drought/desert prone districts in the country, it is important that the traditional institutional arrangement for implementation through Government departments is supplemented by involvement of non-governmental organisations, semi-governmental institutional as well as private enterprise. Accordingly, the following institutional arrangements have been envisaged :

State watershed Programme Implementation and Review Committee :- To ensure coordination amongst various Government Departments, Agricultural Universities, Voluntary Agencies and training institutions, a state level Watershed Development Implementation and Review Committee shall be constituted under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary/Additional Chief Secretary /Agricultural Production Commissioner/ Development/ Commissioner. Secretaries /Heads of Departments of related departments, Vice Chancellors of the state Agricultural Universities, Directors of a few State level training institutes like SIRD, Institute of Administration or Management Institute, five or six representatives of important VAS in the state who are involved in Watershed Development Programmes, may be taken as members of this Committee. The Department of Rural Development shall be the nodal agency to service this Committee. This Committee will meet at least twice a year to monitor, review and evaluate the progress of implementation of the Watershed Development Programme, particularly with reference to the involvement of VAS and the funding arrangements from different programmes being focussed to watershed development at the field level. The Committee would also have the power to relax the cost norms in specially difficult areas and the area ceiling required for taking up a watershed.

Role of Zila Parishads/DRDAs : - The Zila Parishads/ DRDAs, as the case may be, shall be responsible for implementation of these guidelines at the district level. Till the Zila Parishads as envisaged under the Panchyati Raj Legislation come into operation with adequate powers and resources, watershed development programmes under these guidelines may be supervised and implemented either by the DRDAs. They will approve the Watershed Development Plans and the selection of Project Implementation Agencies. The Zila Parishads/DRDAs, as the case may be, shall receive funds directly from the Government of India/State Governments for implementing the Watershed Development Programmes under these guidelines. Funds for implementing the approved Watershed Development Projects will be released by the Zila Parishads/DRDAs, as the case may be, to thePanchayat/Watershed Development Committee. Besides the Zila Parishads/DRDAs will exercise necessary administrative and financial control over the Project Implementation Agencies, Watershed Development Teams and the village level Watershed Development Committees in terms of release of funds, inspection of works, super check on the maintenance of accounts, enquiries into complaints/allegations against Project Implementation Agencies/Village Panchayats/Watershed Development Teams. They shall also lay down formats/norms and guidelines for maintenance of accounts, community organization, campaigns, farmers training, exposure visits, etc.

Watershed Development Advisory Committee :- The Zila Parishad/DRDA, as the case may be, constitute a Watershed Development Advisory Committee under the Chairmanship of the Chief Executive Officer of the Zila Parishad/Project Director of the DRDA consisting of 3 or 4 members from amongst the Multi-Disciplinary Team in the Zila Parishad/DRDA, 5 or 6 representatives of VAs/PIAs which are implementing watershed projects in the district and one or two members from the relevant Research and Training institutions in the district. The District Watershed Development Advisory Committee will advise and assist the Zila Parishad/DRDA, as the case may be, regarding the eligibility of PIAs, members of Watershed Development plans, training, community organisation, publicity campaigns and such other items/activities as may be assigned to it by the Zila Parishad/DRDA.

Project Implementation Agencies :-While the DRDA or the Zila Parishad would administer and coordinate implementation of the programme at the district level, it is desirable and necessary to involve VAs and other institutions such as Universities, Agricultural Research & Training Institutions, Corporations, Cooperatives, Banks, Public & Private Commercial Organizations, Panchyati Raj Institutions and Government Departments in Planning, coordinating and supervising the formulation and implementation of Watershed Development Projects in groups of selected villages. The role of the Project Implementation Agencies (PIAS) will be to motivate with the Gram Panchayats to pass the necessary resolutions to make public contributions, conduct Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) exercises to prepare the development plans for each watershed, undertake community organization and training for the village communities, provide technical guidance and supervision of watershed development activities, manage project implementation, inspect and authenticate project accounts, undertake action research to adapt low-cost technologies and/or validate and build upon indigenous technical knowledge, monitor and review the overall project implementation and set up institutional arrangements for post-project operation and maintenance and further development of the assets created during the period.

Where no Voluntary Agencies (VAs) or other institutions are available to work as Project Implementation Agencies, the Zila Parishad/DRDA may act as Project Implementation Agencies, by constituting Watershed Development Teams in the same manner, as other Project Implementation Agencies. As the Watershed Development projects have to be completed within specific time schedules while constituting Watershed Development Teams, the Zila Parishads/DRDAs may ensure that no permanent staff are recruited. The ZPs/DRDAs may withdraw from the implementation of the project as soon as the Voluntary Agency is willing to take over the activity.

Role of Panchayati Raj Institutions :- When the Zila Parishads under the Panchayati Raj Legislation come into operation with adequate powers and resources, they shall be fully responsible for the implementation of the watershed development programmes under these guidelines at the district level. Wherever the DRDA has been made responsible for implementation of the watershed programmes under these guidelines, the chief Executive Officer of the Zila Parishad will be a member of the District Watershed Advisory Committee. The Zila Parishad at the district level and the Panchayati Samiti at the block level shall have the right to monitor and review the implementation of the programme and give their guidance of improvements in the administrative arrangements and procedures with a view to ensuring convergence of other proramme such as Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), INTENSIVE CHILD DEVELOPMENT SCHEME (ICDS), family welfare, literacy, etc. With the Watershed Programme. At the village level, the Gram Panchayat shall be fully involved in the implementation of the programme specially community organisations and training programmes and use its administrative authority and financial resources to support and encourage the formation of SHGs/Ugs and the operation and maintenance of the assets created and the common property resources such as pasture lands, fisheries tanks, plantations, etc. The Gram Panchayats may also ensure that funds from other development programmes mentioned above are used to supplement and complement the Watershed Development programmes. Further, the Gram Panchayat shall have the right to monitor and review the programme to ensure that the norms under IJRY and EAS and these guidelines are strictly adhered to by the Watershed Association and the Watershed Committee.

The Zila Parishads, Panchayat Samithis and the Gram Panchayats are also entitled to take on the responsibility of implementing a cluster of watershed projects in the capacity of Project Implementation Agencies, if they so desire. The Zila Parishad /Panchayat Samithi/Gram Panchayat concerned shall be subject to all the discipline and control as any other Project Implementation Agency in such cases. They will also be have to constitute Watershed Development Team for the project area on the same lines as any other PIA and shall accordingly be entitled to receive the prescribed administrative costs under the project.

Government Departments/Institutions as PIAs :- State Government Departments such as Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry etc. or other government institutions may act as Project Implementation Agencies for a specific number of villages/watershed on par with any other PIA. They will also be expected to constitute Watershed Development Teams and be subject to the over all supervision and guidance of the DRDA/Zila Parishad as any other PIA and shall also be similarly entitled to receive the administrative costs prescribed in these guidelines.

Watershed Development Teams :- Each PIA shall carry out its duties through a multi-disciplinary team designated as the Watershed Development Team (WDT). Each WDT may handle 10-12 watershed development projects and may have at least four members one each from the disciplines of plant sciences, animal sciences, civil /agricultural engineering and social sciences. Minimum qualification would be a professional degree in Agriculture /Horticulture /Veterinary Sciences, Civil or Agricultural Engineering or Post Graduation in Botany, Economics /Sociology /Social work. Those who have practical field experience in the rural areas would be given preference and even the professional qualification could be relaxed in suitable case of long relevant experience in the areas of land and water management, engineering, hydrology, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, village industries, community organization, etc. The senior most amongst them shall be designated as the Project Leader. The WDT shall work exclusively and full-time for the watershed development projects in the selected 10-12 villages. The PIA will be at liberty to either earmark its own staff exclusively for this work, or recruit fresh candidates including retired personnel, or take people on deputation from government or other organizations. The establishment charges for the WDT shall be provided for subject to the limits prescribed in Annexure – II and debited to the Watershed Development Projects. A PIA may take up several groups of villages by constituting the required number of WDTs. The WDT shall be located at the PIA/ block or local headquarters/any other small town whichever is the nearest to the cluster of selected villages.

Where a Government Department acts as a Project Implementation Agency, it may constitute Watershed Development Team by taking on deputation officers possessing the requisite professional qualifications. The Department concerned shall be entitled to draw the establishment charges for the Watershed Development Team like any other implementation agency provided the services of the team are exclusively utilized on full-time basis for the Watershed Development project.

Watershed Association :- Where a watershed is conterminous with a village Panchayat or its area is confined within the boundaries of a village Panchayat, the Gram Sabha of the Panchayat concerned will be designated as the Watershed Association. However, where a watershed comprises of areas coming under the jurisdiction of more than one Panchayat, members of the community who are directly or indirectly dependent upon the watershed area, will be organised into a Watershed Association. Such as Watershed Association should be registered as a Society under the Registration of Societies Act. The Watershed Association will meet, at least, twice a year to evolve/improve the watershed development plan, monitor and review its progress, approver the statement of accounts, formation of user groups/self- help groups, resolve differences or disputes different user groups, self-help groups or amongst members of the user groups/self – help groups, approve the arrangements for the collection of public/voluntary donations and contributes from the community and individual members, lay down procedures for the operation and maintenance of assets created, approve the activities that can be taken up with money available in the Watershed Development Fund, nominate members of the Watershed Committee from amongst the user groups/ self – help groups by a system of rotation, and take disciplinary action of removal of membership from the Watershed Committee or user groups and whatever other disciplinary action it deems fit. The WA will elect its own President who shall be different from the office bearers and members of the Watershed Committee. The Watershed Secretary shall assist the President of WA in the discharge of the responsibilities entrusted to the WA.

The Watershed Committee :- Subject to the overall supervision and control of the Watershed Association, the day-to-day activities of the Watershed Development Project shall be carried out by a Watershed Committee. The Watershed Committee may consist of 10-12 members who will be nominated by the Watershed Association from amongst the user groups (4-5), self-help groups (3-4), Gram Panchayat (2-3) and a member of the Watershed Development Team. While making nominations, it may be ensured that the Watershed Committee has adequate representation of women, members from the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/Shepherd Community, etc. The Watershed Committee will elect a Chairman from amongst its members and it will perform such functions as are assigned to it by the Watershed Association. Needless to stress the Watershed Committee will be responsible for coordination and liasoning with the Gram Panchayat, the Watershed Development Team, the DRDA/Zila Parishad and Government Agencies concerned to ensure smooth implementation of the Watershed Development Project.

Watershed Secretary & Volunteers :- Each Watershed Development Project shall have a Watershed Secretary. He will be a full-time paid employee of the Watershed Association. He should preferably be a graduate from the same village or at least from some nearby village and he should agree to live in the watershed village during the project period. He will work under the direct supervision of the Chairman of the WC and will be responsible for convening meetings of the WA and the WC and will be responsible for convening meetings of the WA and the WC and for carrying out all their decisions. He will maintain all the records and accounts of the WC and the WA. He will also help the user groups and self-help groups to maintain their accounts. He will be assisted in his responsibilities by three Watershed volunteers from the Watershed area/Village. One of the volunteers may be a woman, another a scheduled caste or scheduled tribe and the third may be from any community /caste. The establishment cost for the Watershed Secretary and the Watershed volunteers shall be charged to the administrative overheads component of the project and paid through the WDT.

Nomenclature in regional languages for village level institutions :- The watershed Committee and Watershed Association and their staff may be given their names in Hindi and other regional languages to enable the village communities to identify themselves with these institutions. The State Governments may consider using existing nomenclature in other programmes such as Mitra Krishak Mandal and Mitra Kissan for Watershed Committee and Watershed volunteers or any other similar nomenclature. However, it may be ensured that such names are common for the whole state.

Selection of Project Implementation Agencies :- The ZP/DRDA shall be the authority competent to decide on the suitability or otherwise of the Project Implementation Agency for taking up Watershed Development Projects. The Project Implementation Agency may be a Government Department or Body Corporate registered under any of the legislations such as Registration of Societies Act, Cooperative Societies Act, Companies Act or any special statutes. The institution should preferably have been active in the rural areas for some years. However, this norm could be relaxed if they have members of the Watershed Development Team who have adequate relevant experience of such projects/activities in the rural areas. The Project Implementation Agency need not necessarily have the full compliment of the Watershed Development Team in position at the time of application. Those institutions which are willing to employ personnel as per norms may be considered. There is also no bar for an institution to take up two or more clusters of projects provided they have the requisite Watershed Development Teams. Due consideration and preference should be given to those institutions which have done their basic home work in identifying villages/watersheds/areas where they would prefer to work. Past experience in/or near by selected villages maybe taken into account while deciding on their applications.

Project Components :-

Depending upon the ecosystem and major problems faced by different districts/blocks, as identified separately by the Government of India, each Watershed Development Project shall be eligible for funds as per the funding pattern prescribed in Annexure – I for the whole project period which should not ordinarily exceed four years except in the case of areas fully or substantially covered under plantations where the project period may extend upto five years. This amount shall be divided amongst the following project components subject to the percentage ceiling mentioned against each :-

Watershed Treatment/Development Works/Activities – 80%

Watershed Community Organisation – 5%

Training – 5%

Administrative Overheads – 10%

Total – 100%

Any shortfalls in utilisation of earmarked components shall be duly refunded to the ZP/DRDA

Watershed Treatment /Development Works :- Watershed Treatment /Development Plan should be prepared for all the arable and non-arable lands and the drainage lines. All degraded forest lands, government and community lands and private lands can be taken up for development activities. Emphasis should be on low-cost, simple and easy to operate and maintain works and activities. The items, inter alia, that can be taken up are:-

a) Land Development including in-situ soil and moisture conservation measures like contour and graded bunds, fortified by vegetation, bench terracing in hilly terrain.

Drainage line treatment with a combination of vegetative and engineering structures.

Development of small water harvesting structures such as low-cost farm ponds, nalla bunds, check-dams and percolation tanks.

Nursery raising for fodder, timber, fuel wood and horticulture species.

Afforestation including block plantations, shelter belts, Sand dune stabilization, etc.

Agro-forestry and horticulture development.

Pasture development either by itself or in conjunction with plantations.

Repair, restoration and upgradation of existing common properly assets and structures in the watershed to obtain optimum & sustained benefits from previous public investments.

Crop demonstrations for popularising new crops/varieties or innovative management practices.

Basic surveys such as contour survey, hydrological surveys, benchmark, remote sensing surveys, soil classification, land capability analysis, monitoring surveys with satellite imagery at regular intervals, specific design analysis or resolution of specific technical problems through research/action research/operational research assignments and such other technical inputs as well help achieve better results for all or any of the activities mentioned above.

For setting up a revolving fund of not exceeding Rs.50 thousand to be given as seed money to SHGs at the rate not exceeding Rs.5000/- per SHG for undertaking income generating activities. This seed money must be recovered from the SHG members in a maximum of 6 monthly installments. This could be reinvested in the same or other SHGs.

Each watershed Development Team and the Watershed Committee will have the discretion to choose such works/activities as are in keeping with the requirement of their watershed treatment plan.

Community Organisation :- Activities will include organising self-help and user groups, conducting Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) exercises, awareness camps, exposure visits and programmes on literacy, family welfare, social services, income-generating activities, etc. giving small contributions to SHGs or other vilage institutions like mahila mandals/youth clubs/anganwadis which are considered important for getting peoples participation.

Training :- This component includes training of watershed users, Watershed Secretary and the Volunteers. For the watershed users, training would be given in the technical aspects of insitu soil and moisture. Conservation techniques, opeation and maintenance of community/individual civil works, agriculture/horticulture/social forestry/plantation technique, raising community/individual nurseries, dairy and livestock management, fodder and pasture management, pisciculture and other land uses, etc. group activity and conduct of meetings, maintenance of accounts and procedures for execution of civil works. For the paid staff, Training would include, in addition to the items mentioned above, record-keeping conduct of meetings, administrative and accounting procedures of Panchayati Raj Institutions, DRDA and State Departments.

Contributions to Watershed Development Funds :- One of the mandatory conditions for selection of villages if community/individual contributions towards different works/activities. As an incentive to peoples participation, government shall meet the full cost of investment on all the works/activities in the watershed development plan. Where the villagers/beneficiaries contribution is given as voluntary labour or free materials, a sum equal to the monetary value of the free labour and ‘materials’ contribution shall be taken from the project account and deposited in a separate fund known as the Watershed Development Fund. Similarly, in cases where villagers /beneficiaries give cash contributions in lieu of free labour or materials, the amount so received shall be deposited directly into the Wateshed Development Fund. This Fund shall be operated upon by the Watershed Committee/Watershed Association for the opeation and maintenance of community works/common property resources such as pasture lands, plantations, community nurseries, etc. However, individual works taken up on private lands for individual beneficiaries shall not taken up for repair/maintenance from out of this fund.

Cost Norms :- Since there are wide variations in the topography, treatment technologies, local materials, wages, etc. in different part of the country, it is not appropriate to lay down any standard cost norms for watershed treatment/developmental activities. These would have to be worked out by the WDT in consulation with the WC and approved by ZP/DRDA in accordance with the standard schedule of rates, local market rates and minimum wage rates etc. While expenditure on individual works or activities could vary, it shall be ensured that the overall norms for the project are adhered to by the ZP/DRDA as prescribed in Annexure – II.

Similarly, it is not possible to lay down cost of norms for community organisation and training activities. So, it is left to the ZPs/DRDAs to prescribe rates of honoraium to guest faculty, TA, DA to trainees, refreshment, boarding/lodging charges, etc.

As far as administrative costs are concerned, the DRDAs, PIAs and WDTs or the Watershed Committees shall be entitled to receive funds from the ZP/DRDAs on the basis of actual expenditure incurred by them subject to the ceiling prescribed in Annexure – III. The PIAs and the WCs may decide the emoluments to be paid to the members of WDTs and WSs/WVs respectively but reimbursement from the DRDAs shall be limited to the ceiling laid down in Annexure – II. Normally, the overall cost norms of Rs.4000/- hect. Shall be final for the duration of the project period. However, in the event of revision of minimum wages, which necessitates enhancing the overall project outlay, which necessitates enhancing the overall project outlay, discretion would be given to the Secretary, Department of Rural Development of the State Government to be exercised in consultation with Government of India in the Ministry of Rural Development.

Funding Arrangements :- The DPAP, DDP, IWDP, IJRY (50%) and Employment Assurance Scheme (50%) shall be mutually exclusive at the village level for the funding of Watershed Development projects. Thus, a village/Wateshed would be seleceted either under DPAP or DDP or any of the other three programmes for its source of funding. At the same time, 10 to 12 of the selected villages under one programme may be clubbed and placed under one common PIA. The number of villages to be selected for taking up Watershed Development Projects every year shall be determined for each programme on the basis of the total funds available in that given year and the expenditure likely to be incurred during that year for the ongoing watershed projects and the new projects proposed to be undertaken.

Funds according to the allocations under the DPAP/DDP/IWDP along with the State’s share of them shall be transmitted to the ZPs/DRDAs of the districts concerned. Funds under the IJRY and the EAS including the States share of them are already being transmitted directly to the ZPs/DRDAs. Fifty percent of the funds so transmitted under the IJRY and the EAS to the ZPs/DRDAs shall be earmarked for the Watershed Development Projects covered under these guidelines. On their selecting the Project Implementation Agencies and the villages/watersheds where Watershed Development Projects have to be taken up, the ZPs/DRDAs shall release the funds for administrative costs, community organisation, training and works components to the Project Implementation Agencies.

Once the Watershed Association and the Watershed Committee are constituted for each Watershed Development Project, an account in the name of Watershed Committee for each village/watershed would be opened, to be operated jointly by the chairman of the WC, one member of WDT and the Watershed Secretary. The PIA shall assess the situation regarding the progress of the involvement of the Watershed Community in the activities of the project and its capability to handle large sums of money independently and recommend to the ZP/DRDA whether runds should be released to the Watershed Committee directly or through the Gram Panchyat. There upon, the ZP/DRDA shall transfer funds for Works/Activities Component to the account of the WC directly or through the Gram Panchayat concerned. Where the DRDA/ZP routes funds through the Gram Panchayat, the DRDA/ZP shall ensure that a separate account is opened by the Gram Panchayat for this purpose. Funds would be released to the Gram Panchayat with the stipulation that they will be passed on the Watershed Committee.

Funds shall be released to the PIAS & WCs for their respective components on the basis of utilisation for which details are given in the opeational guidelines.




Transitional Phase :- These guidelines will take effect from 1.4.1995 and new projects under the schemes will be sanctioned only in accordance with them. However, projects under the schemes that have been sanctioned in the previous years and are still ongoing, shall continue to be administered in accordance with the relevant guidelines issued previously. The state governments and DRDAs may review the situation in each where it can be quickly foreclosed and the balance area covered under eh present guidelines from 1995-96. The balance period of 1994-95 shall be used by the state governments and DRDA=s for making preparations for this transition in terms of training and orientation of DRDA=s staff and selection of training institutions, finalizing the training content and undertaking trainers= training programmes so that these guidelines get operationalised immediately and the Watershed Development Projects can be sanctioned from 1.4.1995 onwards. However, ongoing projects under the IWDP will continue to be funded and administered in accordance with the terms and conditions and funding pattern given in the relevant letters of sanction.

Publicity :- Considering the quantum jump in the overall allocations and outlay for each watershed project, and taking into account the fact that only one-fourth of the project outlay would be spent during the first year, several thousand villages throughout the country have to be selected for implementing the programme. Each ZP/DRDA of the districts under DPAP/DDP/IWDP/IJRY/EAS will have 150 to 200 villages every year and this number will perhaps cross six to seven hundred during the third year. On this other hand, the institutional arrangements require identification and selection of a very large number of Project. Implementation Agencies. Therefore, it is important that wide publicity is given to these quidelines amongst Panchayati Raj Institutions and prospective candidate institutions for Project Implementation Agency. The State Government and Zps/DRDAs should conduct special meetings periodically with the prospective PIAs and the Gram clarify and doubts. The ZPs/DRDAs should encourage touch with the Gram Panchayats in those villages to enable them to get commitments from the village communities towards making public contributions as per norms.

The selection criteria for the villages and the PIAs should be adequately discussed and clarified to every one to avoid unnecessary workload on account of any misunderstandings. Copies of these guidelines should be printed in the local language in adequate numbers and circulated amongst all concerned during these meetings. Expenditure incurred on publicity can be debited to the administrative costs meant for the ZPs/DRDAs.

Selection of Villages & PIAs :- This should become a continuous process throughout the year. Each Gram Panchayats may apply for selection of specific villages under its jurisdiction along with a resolution giving the mandatory assurances about public contributions and taking over the operation and maintenance of assets. They may give information about their eligibility on account of other conditions of previous experience/successes, etc. The Gram Panchayats can apply directly to the ZP/DRDA or route their applications through any Project Implementation Agency that is interested in taking up the watershed development project in their villages.

Similarly, the PIAs shall apply giving all the relevant information to satisfy the conditions laid down in the selection criteria. They may either indicate their preferences of the villages where they would like to work or leave it to the ZP/DRDA to allocate any selected village. It would be an additional qualification if a PIA really canvasses with the Gram Panchayats to pass the necessary resolutions giving assurances of public contributions.

On receipt of these applications from the Villages and PIAs, and ZP/DRDA will get the DWAC to scrutinise the eligibility and commitment o the PIAs and the villages. Based on DWAC=s advice the ZP/DRDA shall link the PIAs and the villages giving due weightage to factors such as proximity, contiguity, previous connections and preferences given by the PIAs and the villages. For a village where no PIA is coming forward for taking up the Project, the ZP/DRDA may act as PIA. The ZP/DRDAs shall have the authority to cancel or modify these orders in the light of changed circumstances.

Appointment of WDTs :- On receipt of approval of its nomination, the PIA shall take immediate steps for appointment o the Project Leader and other members of the Watershed Development Team with the approval of the ZP/DRDA. The appointment of the WDT must be completed within a period of two months from the date of nomination of PIA, failing which the ZP/DRDA shall have the right to cancel the nomination and attach the villages to some other PIA. All the members of the WDT must be in position within a maximum of three months from the date of nomination of the PIA.

Project Commencement Date :- The date on which the full compliment of the Watershed Development Team has joined duty shall be deemed to be the date of commencement of the Watershed Development Projects for the selected villages attached to the PIA. This date shall be notified by the PIA to the ZP/DRDA and the selected villages. The PIA and the WDT etc. will be eligible to draw upon the Project Funds with effect from this date.

Training of WDT :- As seen as practical after their appointment, all the members of the WDT shall be sent for a one-month long training programme which may be of four modules of one-week each the first module will be on the Watershed Treatment Technologies and alternate land uses with emphasis on low-cost structure, vegetative barriers, farmers= innovations and production technologies. The second module will be on Participatory Rural Appraisal Methods and Community Organisation Techniques, group behaviors and convergence of services. The third modula shall be on project management tools and techniques such as work breakdown structures and activity analysis, PERT CPM, coordination, negotiations and time management, etc. The fourth module will be on administration of various Rural Development Programmes, ZP/DRDA administrative and accounting procedures, engineering works, measurement and recording procedures, inspection and audit, computerisation and report writing, etc.

Each State Government will organise at least 10 to 12 training programmes of one-month duration each for 25 to 30 participants during 1994-95. While the STRD of the respective states may play the nodal role, other state level training institutions such as Institutes of Public Administration, Universities, important NGOs could also be invited to run these training programmes for WDT members. Depending upon the number necessary in certain months to run two or three simultaneous programmes.

These training programmes can be orgainsed on-campus of off-campus with guest faculties. The training institutions and the State Government should make a careful choice from ICAR/SAU scientists, NGOs, regular universities and management institutions, government departments and prepare a large panel of guest faculty that would support two or three simultaneous programmes every month. The methodology of the training programmes should be participatory and interactive with emphasis on field-based problem-solving, skill upgradation and interaction with the village communities. Venues should be within the DPAP/DDP districts, if possible, or in nearby training/research institutions like V.D.O. training centre, KVKs, FTCs, ICAR/SAU Research Stations, etc. where reasonable boarding and lodging facilities for the participants can be provided.

All expenses on training such as tuition fees, incidentals, honoraria and TA/DA to guest faculty, boarding and lodging for participants and faculty, participants travel costs, etc. shall be fully met by the ZPs/DRDAs and charged to the relevant head of administrative overheads.

Training of Trainers :- Though in the initial states, it may be necessary to run the WDT members= training programmes through guest faculties, on a long-terms basis, it is desirable that the State Institutes of Rural Development build up their own cadre of faulty members, along with a few regular guest facilities from agricultural Scientists, Vas, Government Departments and Management institutions, who can be trained to run these programmes on a regular bases. The Ministry of Rural Development has identified MANAGE, Hyderabad as the Resource Centre for organising trainers= training programmes. MANAGE will produce a trainers= training manual which would be helpful for conducting WDT members training at the STRDs. Each SIRD will prepare a panel of three to four regular faculty members along with three to four outside quest faculty to cover the full range numbers, MANAGE will organise 6 to 6 trainers= training programmes. Expenditure on the trainers= training programmes and the production of training manuel will be directly borne by the Ministry of Rural Development.

Participatory Rural Appraisal Exercises :- On return from training, the WDT members will conduct three-day Participatory Rural Appraisal Exercises in each of the ten selected villages. All the members of the team will move as one unit and use techniques like participatory mapping/modeling, transact, matrix ranking, timeline, seasonality diagram, etc. to gather firsthand information about the village community and the watershed and their problems and achievements. Specifically, the PRA exercises should yield data regarding soil types, erosion, problem-soils, slops, classification, fertility, rainfall, ground water levels, surface runoffs, drainage lines, vegetative resources like crops, forest species, grazing grounds, other fuel fodder and sconomic species, agriculture, horticulture, livestock and animal species, agriculture, horticulture, livestock and animal husbandry, pasture lands, afforestation, production systems, village industries and the socio-economic realities such as demographic details, social and wealth ranking, literacy, village crafts, and skills, employment and labour opportunities.

Gathering information is only one of the objectives of the PRA exercises. The more important objective is to interact with the village community in small groups to understand their perspectives, perceptions and priorities. The PRA exercises should lead to diagnosis of the important problems and a common understanding of the village community=s priorities. This should enable the WDT and the village community to arrive at a common outline of an action plan for the next three to six months.

Each PRA should be followed up within a week or ten days with a visit by one or two members of the WDT for follow-up action on community organisation and further refinements of the action plan. The WDTs should prepare a schedule to ensure that all the PRAs and follow-up visists are completed within three months.

Basic Surveys :- The information collected from the villagers-in the PRA exercises should be verified with data about the village and the watershed available in the government departments, metrological data, revenue records, village survey reports, etc. This should be further supplemented, whenever considered necessary, with more detailed scientific surveys such as basic benchmark survey of land capability, Satellite Imagery of the Watershed, Contour Survey, GIS, etc. The WDT does not need to do these surveys by itself. The WDT can engage specialist agencies like Groundwater Department, NRSA & other technical departments or institutes to conduct these surveys which can be funded out of the 5% of works component released to the PIA for project formulation activities and revolving fund for SHG=s. These surveys should be completed within six months of the commencement of the Project so that they can be used as input for the Watershed Development Plan.

Community Organisation Programme :- Within a few days of the follow-up visit to each village, WDT members should, either jointly or singly, start the process of conducting awareness camps on social and economic issues important to the community. These can be organised with the help of the local officials of the relevant departments/institutions/Panchayats. At the same time, the WDT members should organise small self-help groups with membership ranging from 15 to 30. Each group should be homogeneous having a common identity such as agricultural labourers, women, shepherds, scheduled castes/tribes, farmers, or a common purpose/activity such as thrift and credit, dairying, rope-making/basket weaving, sewing and tailoring, vegetable vending, etc. The main activity of these self-help groups should be to pool their meager resources through thrift and advance credit to their own needy members. They should be guided and trained in group dynamics and group activity to enable them to function as useful members of the groups. The SHGs may be constituted within 3-6 months of the starting of the Community organisation programme after which they will continue to function and grow. The WDT may also use the revolving fund of Rs. 50,000 at its disposal to advance funds to SHG=s as matching contributions to help them grow quickly and undertake more income-generating activities. The PIA can also use the 5% works activities (EPA=s) that the watershed community find of grate improving the community hall, sanitary conditions or drinking water but which may not be strictly labeled as works directly related to project components. This is important to establish credibility of the WDT and create a rapport with the village community.

Identification of Village Volunteers :- During the course of the PRA exercises and the community organisation programme, the WDT members should identify community leaders, opinion makers, village youth who can be involved in organising locally the self-help groups and the user groups. The youth clubs, mahila mandalis anganwadi members may be involved in community organisation. Their members could be groomed to take on the responsibilities of Watershed Secretary and Volunteers. Small adhoc payments can be made to individuals who devote a lot of their time and energy on a sustained basis in the community organisation programme. Similarly, small token prizes/mementoes could be given to institutions like youth clubs/mahila mandali, etc. which show keenness and involvement in the programme. Details including rates etc. may be prescribed by the ZP/DRDA.

Identification of Watershed Treatment/Development Problems/Opportunities :- Simultaneously, with the community organisation programme, the WDT members shall begin a systematic exploration of the problems and opportunities of the watershed area through several transacts (field inspections) along with the farmers/users who are keen in specific problems/activities. Each problems/opportunity should be located on the map and the details like survey numbers, name of the owner, exact nature and extent of the problem/opportunity, any indigenous technical innovations, farmers= /users= concerns and constraints, farmers=/user/ suggestions on technical solutions, etc. should be documented.

There should be a separate document for each such work/activity on the watershed on the basis of which each WDT member with the relevant specialisation, should try to prepare a plan of action. For selecting problems or initiatives that need to be pursued on priority basis for early implementation, the four pint-criteria given below may be followed. :-

a) The users must be the real poor.

b) There should have been a >visible initiative= earlier, meaning that the group should have done some initial work on its own, no matter how humble, to meet the perceived needs.

c) The initiative identified should be simple and easy enough to be within the group=s comprehension and competence.

d) The initiative should be technologically feasible - i.e. conforming to the group=s own time tested innovations or basic engineering or management principles. The initial success in such a venture will give tremendous boost to the group=s confidence and motivate it to participate more willingly and eagerly.

Liaison with Research/Technical Institutions :- Most of the problems identified may have simple, straight forward technical solutions within the competence of the WDT members. However, in a few cases, thee may be need to understand, validate or improve the local technical knowledge and innovations through more scientific investigation or the problem may be so complex that the local knowledge of farmers/villagers and the WDT members is not adequate to find suitable technological solutions. In such cases the WDT members should get in touch with the concerned technical departments of government or research institutions and liaise with them to find answers to their problems. Some of the Research/action research projects for scientific purposes. The ZP/DRDAs and the WDTs should encourage such collaboration. Incidental charges for scientists/technical personnel visits to the watershed or small experimentation may be charged to the works/activities component. The Project Leader of the WDT shall be competent to sanction such expenditure upto a maximum of Rs. 10,000 /- for each watershed project.

Formation of User Groups. :- For each work/activity, the concerned WDT member will identify a group of people who may be affected most, either beneficially of adversely. For example, a percolation tank may benefit those farmers whose wells will get ground water recharge. On the other hand, the farmer whose land get submerged will be adversely affected. There may be a third category of the recourse-poor farmers whose needs for water could be met by a new well in the area with augmented groundwater or by savings from curbs on over exploitation by resource-rich farmers. Similarly, farmers who have previously received the water downstream will now be adversely affected by the construction of a percolation tank. The WDT must recognise that people have different economic and social interests and they need to reconcile these differences to cooperate and work together for the holistic development of the watershed and at the same time ensure that the benefits are shared equitably with a tilt in favour of the poor and the weak, particularly when public investments are being made for the creation of common assets. Obviously, there can be no standard packages of compromise-formulas or arbitrary decisions by outsiders. Each engineering work or other developmental activity such as social forestry or dairying requires painstaking negotiations amongst the users to share the immediate, intermediate and long-term benefits and costs. The role of the WDT members, in such a situation, has to be of an honest broker or a mediator to reconcile differing view points and find equitable solutions. Further, even the technical specifications of the designs of engineering works or choice of forest trees series or fodders crops etc. need to be jointly made by the user group members. The role of the WDT members is to ensure the technical feasibility and correctness and help them to take decisions that would be technically sound and beneficial. Lastly, the user group members need to be convinced to take over and maintain the work after its completion. Only when the group members are fully convinced for advantages of collaborative action, that they would come forward to give voluntary contributions for taking up a particular work or activity and also for its long-term operation and maintenance.

For this the WDT should initiate mutual confidence building activities such as exposure visits to successful enterprises/institutions where the users can see the demonstration of positive impact of collaborative action on issues such as social fencing, equitable water sharing innovative technologies, sharing userfructary rights on common properties, etc.

This should be followed up by linking up quantum of public funding under the project to the gradual demonstration of the desire and capability of user group members to accept and implement the conditionality regarding productivity, efficiency of resource-use and equitable distribution of benefits.

Keeping the above factors in view, the WDT members should take appropriate action to constitute, in consultation with the village community/Gram Sabha, user groups for each work or activity to be undertaken in the watershed. In the case of forest lands, the user groups should be organised in consultation with the Forest Department and designated as Joint Forest Management Committees. These user groups could also be usefully utilised for the actual execution of construction works or implementation of the developmental activity. The constitution of most of the user groups should be completed within 6-8 months of the beginning of the project.

Training of SHG/UG Members :- WDT members will ensure that a majority of the members of SHGs/UGs are given basic training and orientation on the technical and organisational aspects of the running of SHGs and Ugs. The training will be practical skill upgradation involving specific user groups/SHGs for their respective activities. Mostly, the training should be organised by he WDT members with the help of local officials of technical departments/institutions, Vas, etc. Guest faculties invited may be paid an honorarium as per norms to he prescribed by the ZP/DRDA. The SHG/UG members could also be taken for visits to Research Stations/successful Vas watersheds/KVKs, etc. where they could see the demonstration of successful technologies/practices/designs that are relevant to them. Use of audio visual media to increase awareness and motivation among SHG/UG members should be encouraged.

During the initial stages, the WDT members shall be competent to take decisions regarding community organisation and training expenditures. Once the WA and WC have been constituted, these matters will be considered and approved by them in consultation with the WDT.

The ZP/DRDA shall lay down certain cost-norms regarding TA/DA to farmers on field visits, honoraria to guest faculty and other incidental expenditures.

80. Constitution of watershed Association :- Once the SHGs/UGs have been organised, the WDT shall all for a General Body Meeting of all the Members of all the SHGs and UGs/Gram Sabha. This meeting would be called the Watershed Association which would be then got formally registered as a Society comprising of all the members, subject to what has been stated in paragraph 36 of the Programme Guidelines. The WA shall evlove its own working procedures and elect its own President. The WA will meet as frequently as necessary, but not less than twice a year, to discharge the functions entrusted to it under the Programme Guidelines.

Constitution of Watershed Committee :- The WA shall in its first General Budy Meeting, nominate four representatives from the self-help groups and five from the user groups as members of the Watershed Committee. The Gram Panchayat and the WDT will be requested to nominate one each of their members as representatives. The WA will decide on its own procedures for nomination of the members of the WC by rotation which shall be simple and easy. However, members of the WDT shall be present during the meeting of the General Body of WA in which nominations to the WC are approved. The first meeting of WC shall elect its own Chairman. The WC shall perform all the functions that are entrusted to it in the Programme Guidelines for which it will work out its own procedures in consultation with the WDT.

Appointment of Watershed Secretary and Volunteers :- As soon as practical after its constitution, the WC with the assistance of he Project Leader of the WDT shall invite applications from candidates fulfilling the qualifications laid down for appointment as Watershed Secretary and three watershed volunteers. The WC shall scrutinise the applications and interview the respective candidates and take final decision regarding the appointment of the Watershed Secretary and Watershed Volunteers in consultation with he Project Leader of the WDT. The WC shall fix the emoluments to be paid to the WS and Wvs and the manner in which these should be paid- whether it should be a fixed monthly salary or honorarium linked to performance of specific duties. However, it shall be ensured that the total emoluments do not exceed the ceilings laid down in Annexure - III. This activity should be completed within nine months of the commencement of the Project.

Opening of Watershed Project Account :- On constitution of he WC and the appointment of the Watershed Secretary and the watershed Volunteers, the WC will take necessary action to open a bank account in its name in the local branch of any Nationalised Bank/Cooperative Bank. This account shall be operated upon jointly by the Chairman of WC, one member of he WDT and the Watershed Secretary. Withdrawals from the Account shall be only on the joint signatures of the Chairman of the WC and WS upto Rs. 10,000/- and on the joint signatures of one member of the WDT and the Chairman of WC for amounts above Rs. 10,000/-. Application to the ZP/DRDA for release of funds to the Watershed Project A/C shall be jointly signed by the Chairman of WC and the Wateshedm Secretary and shall be duly recommended by the Project leader of the WDT. The Watershed Secretary shall maintain the necessary records of income and expenditure from this account in the manner in which the ZP/DRDA shall prescribe.

Setting up watershed Development Fund :- The WC shall open another account in the local branch of the bank concerned in the name of A Watershed Development Fund@. This shall be a fixed deposit/interest bearing account and shall be operated jointly by the President of the Watershed Association, Chairman of Watershed Committee and the Project Leader of the WDT. During the project period, it is not expected that any moneys will be withdrawn from this fund for taking up repairs/maintenance or further development of any completed project works/activities. Contributions received from user group members and individual beneficiaries in cash or the monetary equivalent of materials received shall be taken from the watershed Project A/C and transferred to the Watershed Development fund. Any other cash collections made by the Watershed Association/WC in terms of donations/contributions, recoveries of fines or fees for services rendered, etc. shall be deposited in this Watershed Development Fund. The fund shall be user for post-completion operation and maintenance of community works/activities such as community engineering works, maintenance of pasture lands, forests or fisheries ponds, etc. and payment of emoluments to WS & WVS. However, it shall not be used for repair/maintenance of individual work on private lands. The WC and the WA shall be competent to charge fees or other contributions/donations from users. Sale proceeds or disposal amounts of intermediate userfructary rights, etc. shall all be deposited in this Fund. A completely separate account of the Income and Expenditure of the WDF shall be maintained by the Watershed Secretary.

Training of members of WC/Watershed Secretary & Volunteers :- While all members of WC would have been trained in their respective activities relating to SHTs/UGs, special training would be organised for them for conducting meetings and preparing budgets and plans and maintenance of accounts, etc. Similarly, the Watershed Secretary and the Watershed volunteers will be trained by the WDT members in administrative procedures, record=keeping, accounts-keeping, conduct of meetings, engineering work execution measurement and accounting procedures to enable them to discharge their responsibilities more effectively.

Watershed Development Plan :- After general discussion of the Watershed Development concept at the WA, each User Group shall prepare an Action Plan with time and cost estimates, design and execution procedures for each individual work/activity to be taken up in the Watershed. This Action Plan will also clearly define the respective roles and responsibilities of the users and the manner in which the work/activity would be executed. These plans would be prepared by the user Groups in consultation with and guidance of the WDT members and Watershed Committee members.

These individual work plans will be submitted to the WC which will then prepare an integrated Watershed Development Plan in consultation with the Watershed Development Team and submit the same to the WA. This watershed Development Plan shall necessarily mention the clear demarcation of he watershed with specific details of survey members, ownership details and a map depicting the location of proposed work/activities.

This plan should specifically outline the problems and the approach to tackle the following :-

a) Common property resources

b) Infrastructure investment like water harvesting systems or irrigation systems.

c) Comprehensive treatment plans/work activities.

The Watershed Development Plan should generally follow the objectives and results and success criteria given under programme guidelines earlier. More specifically the plan should include, inter alia, the following :-

a) Measurable physical work such as earth work of field bunds, Nalla bunding, circulation tank, check dance, programmes including planting of trees of various categories and land brought under permanent cover.

b) Coverage of Aservice@, both in terms of area as well as number of resource poor villagers and women. The AService@ would comprise items like water supply for various needs in an agreed upon order of priority rgrasses in the village pasture or fish in the village percolation or irrigation tank.

c) Improvement of plots of land by soil conservation measures or soil amelioration for crop production with limited irrigation, land and water allocated to the resource poor families and women groups.

d) Measured productivity enhancement and performance with regard to commodities needed for subsistence of local resource poor -

i) Size of the fodder and fuel pool built up, the annual addition to the pool as well as portions allocated to the resource poor members;

ii) Size of grain bank (the grain bank need not be confined to cereals but may include other non-perishable foods like pulses and oilseeds), annual addition to grain bank from local production, withdrawal made by the resource poor and recovery performance;

iii) Allocations to, and productivity enhancement of, women groups for the production of perishable nutritional supplement such as vegetables, fruits, poultry, fishery and livestock products and proportion consumed locally.

e) Generation of local employment through direct assistance under the project as well as consequential employment generated through heightened activities in and around the watershed, specifically mentioning the measurable criteria of labour - material component in the ratio of 60:40 as well as minimum wages to be paid.

f) A measurable mix of land use in the watershed and the cropping pattern that uses the scarce land and water resources to optimum and sustainable levels.

The Watershed Development Plan should also identify the mechanisms and the sources that would be used by the Watershed Development Committee and the Project Implementation Agency to monitor and review the progress being achieved from time to time in the implementation of the Watershed Development Plan.

The WA shall submit the Plan, with the recommendations of the WDT to the ZP/DRDA for sanction and release of funds. This approved Watershed Development Plan shall become the basis for the ZP/DRDA for release of project funding, monitoring, review and evaluation of the Watershed Development Project. The WDT/WA may ensure that the Watershed Development Plans are submitted within 9-10 months of the beginning of the Project period so that the ZP/DRDA can approve the same and release the second installment of the year.

Financial Powers :- while most of the works may be actually executed through the user groups, incurring of expenditure shall be authorised to the extent of Rs. 1,000 by the Watershed Secretary, upto Rs. 10,000 by the Watershed Committee and above Rs. 10,000 by the Watershed Committee after specific approval of the concerned technical member of the watershed Development Team. However, withdrawal of funds from the Project A/C shall be only through joint signatures as prescribed earlier.

Release of Funds :- Twenty five percent of the project outlay shall be released in the first year, 40% in the second year, 25% in the third year and the remaining 10% in the fourth year. Every year the funds shall be released in two installments. After the first instalment, the releases shall be dependent on 50% utilisation of the funds released earlier.

While retaining their share of the administrative costs from each project, the DRDA/ZP shall release funds to the Project. Implementation Agency for administrate costs, community organisation, training and a small portion of the works component. For the release of the bulk of the works component to the Watershed Committee, the DRDA/ZP shall consult the Project Implementation Agency to decide whether the funds should be released to the Watershed Committee directly or through the Gram Panchayat. Where funds are routed through the Gram Panchayat, The DRDA/ZP shall ensure that the Gram Panchayat opens a separate account for these project funds which shall be passed on to the watershed committee after they have opened their own watershed project account. The Project Implementation Agency shall ensure that the watershed project account is opened by the watershed committee before the DRDA/ZP/Panchayat release the work component to the Watershed Committees= account. Funds shall be transferred from the Watershed Project Account to the Watershed Development fund only with the approval of the Project Implementation Agency.

During the first year, 15% of the funds shall be released to the Project Implementation Agency @3% for administrative costs, 3% for training and 4% for community organisation and 5% of the works components. This shall be released by DRDA/ZP as fist installment immediately on the commencement of the project. The second installment of 10% shall be released towards works component to the Watershed Development Committee through the Gram Panchayat or directly after it is constituted and opens the watershed Project Account. During the second year, the first installment of 20% shall be divided between the Project Implementation Agency which shall be given 5% (@3% for administrative costs, 1% for community organisation and 1% for training) and the remaining 15% to the Watershed Project Account for works components. The second installment of 20% shall go fully to the Watershed Project Account for works component. During the third year also the first installment of 15% shall be divided into 5% of the Project Implementation Agency (@4% for administrative costs and 1% for training) and the remaining 10% to the Watershed Project Account towards Words Component. The second installment of 10% shall go fully to the watershed Project Account towards Works Component. The balance of 10% of the works components shall be released during the fourth year. This procedure is give as a chart in Annexure IV.


Payments for Work done :- Each self-help group/user group shall maintain its own accounts for the works/activities undertaken by it. The user groups shall also maintain a register of the users who have actually contributed labour and materials with their monitory value. The three watershed Volunteers shall be made responsible for the maintenance of records and accounts and measurements of the works actually done for a certain number of SHGs/UGs. The watershed Secretary shall verify the correctness of the accounts and place before the Watershed Committee for approval of expenditure. The members of the Watershed Committee will inspect the works to satisfy themselves about the genuineness and quality of work done before approving payments for the same. Members of the WC and the Watershed Secretary shall ensure that records are properly maintained and they shall be responsible for the good quality of the works and the payments made.

Maintenance of Accounts :- The Watershed Development Team and the Watershed Committee shall ensure that accounts of their activities and expenditures are maintained in accordance with the formats that may be prescribed by the ZP/DRDA. The ZP/DRDA may take the advice of the District Watershed Advisory Committee to design formats for maintenance of accounts, measurement books, etc. Each Watershed Development Team should maintain proper documentation of the processes and activities that are undertaken at the watershed level and at the project level. This will enable outside independent agencies to analyse the problems of attitudes, skills required or behavioral aspects and procedural bottlenecks and suggest necessary improvements. For this also the District Watershed Advisory Committee may work out formats for log book, diaries to be maintained at the watershed/project level. These should be very simple and easy to write and maintain and should contain minimum required information to avoid unnecessary work.

Post-Project Expenditure :- Although the Project Funds would have been released with project period, these can be spent by the Watershed Committee for a period of six months beyond the closing date of the project. The funds can be used for development works as well as meeting the salary costs of the Watershed Secretary and the Volunteers. However, they shall not be paid salaries out of the project funds for any period beyond the closing date of the project.

Operations and Maintenance of Assets :- At the end of the Watershed Development Project period the Watershed Association and the Watershed Committee will continue to function for the operation and maintenance of the assets created. The Watershed Development Fund may be used for this purpose including payment of salaries to the Watershed Secretary and the Volunteers. However, it is left to the WC/WA to decide the level of permanent staff that they would like to continue after the project period. During the project period, the WDT and the WC are expected to work out procedures for continued accruals to the Watershed Development Fund for operations and maintenance as well as further development of the watershed assets.

Monitoring and Review :- The Project Implementation Agency shall be responsible to submit progress reports on each of the Watershed Development Projects once in every quarter to the ZP/DRDA. Similarly, each Watershed Committee shall submit a quarterly report to the ZP/DRDA after it is scrutinized and approved by the WDT. The formats for these reports shall be developed on the basis of the success criteria given in the Programme Guidelines. The format will be developed by he Ministry of Rural Development to facilitate computerized reporting.

Monthly review meetings of the WDT, DRDA/ZP will be held by the 3rd and the 10th of every month respectively. State Level Review may be held once in a quarter. While the usual monitoring of the physical and financial progress of the projects could be done through the quarterly progress reports, the main purpose of the monthly review meetings will be to discuss and analyze the performance including the reasons for success and difficulties in the implementation of the projects with a view to replicating successes and overcome barriers to effective implementation. These meetings may also discuss the implications of farmers/villagers= innovations, indigenous technical knowledge, WDTs= innovative approaches and problems of coordination with research and training institutions, technical departments, financial institutions, etc. Such discussions should lead to motivating policy guidelines and improvement in the operating procedures for smoother implementation of the projects.

Evaluation and Process Documentation :- The Ministry of Rural Development and the State Governments may appoint independent institutions to carry out concurrent as well as post-facto evaluations of the Watershed Development Projects. The Success Criteria laid down in the programme guidelines will be the basis for such evaluations. At the same time independent consultants may be asked to undertake action research projects to document the actual process of project implementation, in a representative sample, to analyze and assess the implementation processes. The results of these evaluations and process documentation will be submitted to the State Level Implementation and Review Committee and the Central Government with suggestions on policy issues as well as improvement of working procedures.

Redeployment of WDTs :- Having closely worked with a group of villages on a Watershed Development Project, the Members of the WDT would have acquired considerable experience and expertise in Rural Development Project Management. The ZPs/DRDAs may encourage the Project Implementation Agencies to take up more clusters of Watershed Projects and redeploy members of the WDT who are released from the completed project to new projects.

Queries may be addressed to the following :- 

i) At the district level :- Zila Parishad/Project Director, DRDA

ii) At the State Level :- Commissioner/Director Rural Development.

iii) At the National Level :- National Wastelands Development Board, 107 - NGO Building, Nirman Bhavan, New Delhi - 110011.



Year Installment % Agency (%) Component % Breakup


1st 1st 15% PIA 15% 1) Admn. Cost 3%

2) Comm. Org. 4%

3) Training 3%

4) Works 5%

2nd 10% GP/WC 10% Works 15%

2nd 1st 20% {I}PIA 5% 1) Admn. Cost 3%

2) Comm. Org. 1%

3) Training 1%

4) Works 15%

2nd 20% {2}GP/WC 20% Works 20%

3rd 1st 15% {1}PIA 5% 1) Admn. Cost 4%

2) Training 1%

{2}GP/WC 10% Works 10%

2nd 10% GP/WC 10% Works 10%

4th 1st 10% GP/WC 10% Works 10%



 NON-FOREST AREAS - Areas other than the Notified Forest areas including Reserved , Protected, Unclassified Forests.

WASTELANDS - Land which is producing below its full productive capacity and which can be improved through a reasonable investment.

WATERSHED - A watershed is a geo-hydrological unit or an area that drains at a common point.

DRAINAGE LINES - Would define the flowing of water from ridge to the common point of drainage through the various channels.

ECOLOGICAL DEGRADATION - Deterioration in environmental condition including erosion, atmospheric pollution, deforestational, water and noise pollution etc.

CROP MANAGEMENT - Judicious management by way of combination and rotation of crops for optimum productivity.

VILLAGE COMMUNITY – Would include all the residents of a village.

INDIGENOUS TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE - Is knowledge that is available in the village through the cumulative historical experience of a community/individual regarding the management of land and water.

PARTICIPATORY RURAL APPRAISAL - Involvement of the rural people in undertaking survey of natural resources and prepare perspective plans based upon the needs of the people.

CENTRALLY SPONSORED SCHEMES - Are those where part of the funding of the Plan is borne by the State Government and Government of India.

USER GROUPS - For each work/activity the WDT would identify a group of people who may be affected most, either beneficially or adversely.

SELF HELP GROUPS - Would be homogenous groups having common identity such as agriculture labourers, women, shepherds, Scheduled Castes/Tribes etc.

ASSET LESS - Residents of a village who do not have any immovable assets like land and house.

COMMON PROPERTY RESOURCES - This term covers all land which can be accessed by all residents of the village and would include village commons, Governments lands available for grazing etc.

HOMOGENOUS GROUPS - Are those groups which because of cultural or caste or common interests or common source of earning are willing to work to a common goal.

VEGETATIVE BARRIERS - Vegetative measures for protection against soil erosion by using species like Agave, Vetiver, grasses, shrubs, trees etc.

USUFRUCTS - The produce that would flow from the development of watershed area and would include water, grasses, wigs, minor timber, fodder, fruits, fibre and other produce like lac, honey etc.



I-JRY - Intensified Jawahar Rozghar Yojna

EAS - Employment Assurance Scheme

DPAP - Drought Prone Area Programme

DDP - Desert Development Programme

IWDP - Integrated Wastelands Development Programme

NWDPRA - National Watershed Development Programme

PRA - Participatory Rural Appraisal

ICAR - Indian Council of Agriculture Research

SAU - State Agriculture Universities

ZP - Zila Parishad

DRDA - District Rural Development Agency

PIA - Project Implementation Agency

WDT - Watershed Development Team

WA - Watershed Association

WDC - Watershed Development Committee

VA - Voluntary Agency

KVK - Krishi Vigyan Kendra

CBCS - Community Based Convergence  of Services groups

DWCRA - Development of Women & Children in Rural Areas

WDF - Watershed Development Fund

The website is  designed, developed & maintained by Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Rural Development,  Government of India and hosted by National Informatics Centre, New Delhi, India

Copyright Policy   Terms & condition  Privacy Policy  Technical manager   Web Information manager Technical team   Web Analytics Tool