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Managing natural resources of watersheds in the semi-arid tropics for improved soil and water quality: A review


  • Sahrawat, K.L.
  • Wani, S.P.
  • Pathak, P.
  • Rego, T.J.


Soil, water and production systems constitute the most important natural resources of a watershed in the rainfed agro-ecosystem; and for sustainability of the production systems they need to be in harmony with the environment. To learn from the past research, a review is made of literature on the impact of natural resource management practices on soil and water quality in the semi-arid tropical regions of India. The results from long-term on station field experiments show that an integrated use of soil and water conservation practices with balanced plant nutrition can not only sustain increased productivity but also maintain soil quality at the watershed or catchment level. Natural resource management practices that conserve soil and water also help to maintain surface and groundwater quality. The changes in soil and water quality, as impacted by natural resource management practices, need to be monitored and assessed on a continuing basis as the outcome of such research offers valuable opportunity for the implementation of corrective management practices, as and when needed.

Suggested Citation

  • Sahrawat, K.L. & Wani, S.P. & Pathak, P. & Rego, T.J., 2010. "Managing natural resources of watersheds in the semi-arid tropics for improved soil and water quality: A review," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 375-381, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:97:y:2010:i:3:p:375-381

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kerr, John, 2002. "Watershed Development, Environmental Services, and Poverty Alleviation in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1387-1400, August.
    2. Wani, S. P. & Sreedevi, T. K. & Rockstrom, J. & Ramakrishna, Y. S., 2009. "Rainfed agriculture: past trends and future prospects," IWMI Books, Reports H041990, International Water Management Institute.
    3. Pathak, P. & Sahrawat, K. L. & Wani, S. P. & Sachan, R. C. & Sudi, R., 2009. "Opportunities for water harvesting and supplemental irrigation for improving rainfed agriculture in semi-arid areas," IWMI Books, Reports H042000, International Water Management Institute.
    4. Mandal, D. K. & Mandal, C. & Velayutham, M., 2001. "Development of a land quality index for sorghum in Indian semi-arid tropics (SAT)," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 335-350, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:2:p:177:d:64176 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. K. H. Anantha & Suhas P. Wani, 2016. "Evaluation of cropping activities in the Adarsha watershed project, southern India," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(5), pages 885-897, October.
    3. Bouma, Jetske A. & Biggs, Trent W. & Bouwer, Laurens M., 2011. "The downstream externalities of harvesting rainwater in semi-arid watersheds: An Indian case study," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 98(7), pages 1162-1170, May.
    4. Datta, Nirupam, 2015. "Evaluating Impacts of Watershed Development Program on Agricultural Productivity, Income, and Livelihood in Bhalki Watershed of Bardhaman District, West Bengal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 443-456.
    5. Pramod Pandey & Pieter Zaag & Michelle Soupir & Vijay Singh, 2013. "A New Model for Simulating Supplemental Irrigation and the Hydro-Economic Potential of a Rainwater Harvesting System in Humid Subtropical Climates," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 27(8), pages 3145-3164, June.
    6. Maria Jose Marques & Gudrun Schwilch & Nina Lauterburg & Stephen Crittenden & Mehreteab Tesfai & Jannes Stolte & Pandi Zdruli & Claudio Zucca & Thorunn Petursdottir & Niki Evelpidou & Anna Karkani & Y, 2016. "Multifaceted Impacts of Sustainable Land Management in Drylands: A Review," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(2), pages 1-34, February.


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