In the Himalayan region the populace is heavily dependent upon the natural resources for their livelihoods. Consequently, conservation and sustainable use of the natural resources has always been a priority area for PJKS. During the years 1993-95, PJKS conducted extensive research in two districts in order to look into the reasons for the resource depletion which was resulted in water scarcity, frequent landslides, soil erosion, low productivity of agriculture, economic deprivation, depleting forest cover and increased workload on women.

The research outcomes highlighted the need for catchment area protection, revival of traditional systems of resource use and management and alternate employment generation. PJKS decided to take up integrated Watershed Management Programme in its work area, which would incorporate all these aspects.

First Initiative – 1996 to 2002

In 1996 the organisation initiated its first watershed management programme; Gangar Gad Watershed Management Programme with the support of IGSSS in the Bhilangana Block of district Tehri Garhwal. Total project cost was 7.39 lacs. Targeting a mini watershed spread over 350 hectares, this programme focused on community development – health, sanitation, awareness generation and education in addition to the construction of check dams, plantations, improved irrigation mechanisms, livestock development and propagation of vegetable cultivation.

PJKS has always advocated for the informed participation of the communities in the developmental programmes. It is in line with the philosophy of PJKS that these programmes follow a bottom-up approach and all the programme activities are highly decentralized.

The success of the programme and the fact that it was able to positively impact the lives of the rural population was a morale booster for PJKS and subsequently the organisation increased the scope of its operations in the field of watershed management.

Second Initiative – 2003 to 2009

Later in 2003, PJKS taken up Drought Prone Areas Programme in Pauri, Thalisain, Pabau and Bironkhal blocks of Pauri District of Uttarakhand. Supported by Government of India through the State Government this programme covered 21 mini watersheds comprising a total area of 10500 ha. Total project cost was 5.5 crore.

Third Initiative – 2010-Till Date

Currently PJKS is implementing “Integrated Watershed Management programme” now called “Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna” in 7 micro watersheds in Thalisain and Pabau blocks of Pauri District of Uttarakhand. This programme is also supported by the Government of India through state government.

This programme covers an area of 9729 Hectares in 7 micro watersheds including 54 Gram Panchayats comprising of 122 villages and 6124 households in two development blocks; Thalisain & Pabau. Total project cost is 14.5 crore.

The major components of IWMP include; Baseline survey / PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal) & Micro Planning, Detailed Project Report preparation, Community Mobilization, Institution and Capacity Building , Entry Point Activities , Watershed Development, Livelihood, Production System & Microenterprises, Monitoring & Evaluation.

 Watershed Management would remain a major thrust area for PJKS. Under these programs we promote the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximize economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems.

PJKS focuses on to restore the ecological balance by harnessing, conserving and developing degraded natural resources such as soil, vegetative cover and water.  The outcomes are prevention of soil run-off, regeneration of natural vegetation, rain water harvesting and recharging of the ground water table.  This enables multi-cropping and the introduction of diverse agro-based activities, which help to provide sustainable livelihoods to the people residing in the watershed area.

In line with the philosophy of PJKS this programme follows a bottom-up approach and all the programmatic activities are highly decentralized under IWMP component.

Community based organisations (CBOs) are formed at various levels and made responsible for programme planning, implementation and participatory monitoring, while PJKS being a facilitator to the whole process.

For ensuring a high degree of people’s participation, right on the onset of the programme the communities are made aware of the need for conservation and sustainable utilization of water, forests and soil. In each village women’s self-help groups are formed.

In order to mobilize people for a better IWMP, PJKS has doctrine in a plethora of activities.  Activities like selection of sites, deployment of field teams, initial situation analysis, initial visits, participatory planning process and feasibility analysis etc. are planned under the programme. The participatory implementation process is monitored and evaluated periodically.

We always see scope to re-plan or alter the activities according to the findings of evaluation, without changing the core approach and basic fabric of the intervention.

Key Achievements under Watershed Development Programs

Watershed Development

  • Till date organisation has covered approx. 20000 hectares of area under the watershed programmes.
  • We have made substantial changes in the lives of 10957 families spread across Tehri & Pauri districts through our watershed development programmes.
  • A number of 67 watershed committees, have been formed across Tehri & Pauri district.
  • A number of 120 CBOs have been promoted till date.
  • A number of 1128 user groups have been created in project blocks in Pauri district.
  • A number of 2550 individuals including men and women are trained in both Tehri & Pauri district through various capacity building programs, awareness camps, exposure visits etc.
  • Several entry point activities under IWMP have been undertaken benefitting 3275 families.
  • Under watershed development work, activities related to soil & moisture conservation, land & water conservation, facilitation in agriculture production has been undertaken. The watershed work activities including but not limited to, construction of drinking water tank, irrigation tank, irrigation channel, protection wall, check dams, krishi pusta, rain water harvesting tank, chal khals, chari, plantation, repairing of drinking water pipe lines etc.
  • Repair, restoration and up-gradation of existing common property assets and structures in the watershed area have been done to obtain optimum and sustainable benefits from previous public investments.

Forestry Resource Development

  • PJKS, in order to decrease pressure on forest and reducing women drudgery, involved in forestry resource development and plantation.
  • The activities include mass plantation in the project area on the wasteland and community lands with the active participation of the community to control landslides and erosions by introducing various species of trees such as Baanjh, Pangar, Aadu, Tilhanj, Devdar, Robnia, Padam, Khumani, Aangu, Surai, Reetha, Shehtut, Kachaa Anar, Nashpati etc.

Livelihood Augmentation

  • A number of 190 SHGs having strength of 1450 individual members (including men & women) have been formed in all the project blocks of Pauri district and have been provided with technical and value chain support in dairy farming, goat rearing and poultry farming etc.
  • There is an increase of 30 percent in the annual income of targeted families under this initiative.

 Microenterprise through Conservation

  • A total of 14.37 hectare of land has been utilised for vegetable production (including tomato, potato, cabbage, brinjal, french beans, capsicum, bottle gourd, lady finger etc.) benefitting 108 numbers of families under IWMP.
  • A 9.57 hectare of land has been used for Orchard development (including guava, walnut, citrus fruits etc.) impacting 69 families in Thalisain & Pabau blocks of Pauri district.
  • A 14.45 hectare of land has been developed and used for spices cultivation (including garlic, ginger, chilli, coriander, turmeric etc.) impacting the lives of 91 families in Thalisain & Pabau blocks of Pauri district.
  • There is an accumulated increase of 40 percent in the annual income of targeted families under this initiative.