Watershed Development Department – Haveri District

Watershed development department came into existence during 2000-01 in Haveri District. District watershed Development Officer is the Head of the district and is assisted by sectoral heads like Assistant Director of Agriculture, Assistant Conservator of Forest, Sr.Assistant Director of Horticulture and Asst.Director of Animal husbandry who look after Agriculture,Forest,Horticulture Animal husbandry activities respectively in the watershed development programmes in the district along with their other officerswho work at taluka and down below. There are two subdivisions in the district viz, Haveri and Ranebennur, Haveri subdivision consists of 4 talukas like Haveri, Hangal, savanur and shiggoan. Whereas Ranebennur subdivision consists of 3 talukas viz, Byadagi, Hirekerur and Ranebennur. At Taluk level one Agricultural Officer works as Taluka Watershed Development Officer and Team Leader with the assistance of watershed development team consisting of AAO, AHO, RFOs, along with Agricultural assistants, Forester, Horticultural assistants and NGO. Currently deportment is implementing various schemes like. Integrated Watershed Management Programme ( IWMP), Jalasiri, Rainfed Area Development Programme, Water harvesting Structures and others .

What is Watershed?

The word watershed refers to a “contiguous area draining into a single water body or a water course” or “it is a topographical area having a common drainage”. This means that the rainwater falling on an area coming within a ridgeline can be harvested and will flow out of this area thorough single point. Some refer it as a catchment area or river basin.

A watershed is like a bathtub. The watershed outlet - the mouth of a pond, lake or river- is the tub's drain. The watershed boundary is the tub's rim. The watershed's drainage system consists of a network of rivers, streams, constructed channels, stormdrains, wetlands, and the underlying groundwater.

The diagram below suggests a typical watershed that starts with small headwater streams in the higher elevations of the drainage basin. Water flows downhill from the drainage divide into larger streams, eventually joining a river. As more tributary streams join the river, the volume of water increases. This river eventually flows downstream into an even larger river at the confluence.


What is Watershed Development ?

Simply, we can say it is the development of watershed area based on type of soil, depth of soil, vegetative cover, harvestable rain water in that area and watering that area and water budgeting and treatment given to soils from the ridge to the valley. It is not a simple word. The term watershed development encompasses additional dimensions like equity, sustainability, gender and peoples participation. It has become a trusted tool for the overall development of the village and people living within a watershed area.

Watershed development refers to the conservation regeneration and the judicious use of all the resources – natural ( like land, water plants, animals) and human – within the watershed area. Watershed Management tries to bring about the best possible balance in the environment between natural resources on the one side and man and animals on the other. Since it is the man which is primarily responsible for degradation of environment, regeneration and conservation can only be possible by promoting awakening and participation among the people who inhabit the watersheds


Man and his environment are interdependent. The changes in the environment directly affect the lives of the people depending on it. A degraded environment means a degraded quality of life of the people. Environmental degradation can be tackled effectively through the holistic development of the watershed. A watershed provides a natural geo-hydrological unit for planning any developmental initiative.




  • To conserve soil & moisture.

  • To mitigate the adverse effects of drought on crops and livestock.

  • To control desertification & to improve the Productivity of land.

  • To minimize the ill effects of climate change.

  • To conserve and develop the biodiversity.

  • To encourage restoration of ecological balance and

  • To promote socio economic development of Project inhabitants.

Opinions of Watershed Experts

In the words of eminent economist, C.H.Hanumantha Rao “Watershed development has been conceived basically as a strategy for protecting the livelihoods of the people inhabiting the fragile ecosystems experiencing soil erosion and moisture stress”.

Watershed Development Programme aims at creating a scenario where the Government acts as a facilitator and the people at the grass root level become the real executioner of the programme.

Benefits derived from Watershed Methodology


  1. The crop yield has increased by 25-40% in dry land farming

  2. The soil loss due to erosion was brought down by 30%

  3. Large extents of barren hill slopes were covered by vegetation.

  4. Large tracts of marginal lands brought under dry land Horticulture

  5. Development of Agro-Horti and Agro-Forestry systems.

  6. Water resources were harvested through nala bunds, farm ponds, gully embankments

  7. Regeneration of grass lands for more fodder and grass.

  8. The income of farmers increased considerably.

  9. Over all ecological improvement of the watershed area.


Shri. Manjunath B. M.Sc.(Agri)

District Watershed Development Officer,

Haveri District, Haveri.

Office : 08375-249053
Fax : 08375-249056

For Further Details visit our state Website : http://watershed.kar.nic.in/organ.htm