Modeling the Impact of Watershed Development on Water Resources in India

Barry Croke*, Peter Cornish, Adlul Islam

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    An intensive fieldwork campaign in the Purulia District of West Bengal (where average annual rainfall is 1300 mm) resulted in the development of a model designed to represent the hydrological impact of watershed development (WSD) on a 2 km2 catchment. Observations include a high temporal resolution (minutely) climate dataset (rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and solar radiation) coupled with water storages and fluxes across the study site. Using a top-down approach, a model was developed based on the IHACRES rainfall-stream flow model, which includes the impact of WSD structures including retention and recharge storages, seepage pits, bunds, structures to improve agro-forestry, and interaction with shallow groundwater systems. A soil-water balance model provided independent assessment of the hydrological model predictions at Purulia and explored the impacts of the cropping systems developed post WSD. The hydrological model has been adapted to be applied to larger scale catchments (of the order of 100 km2) in semi-arid Andhra Pradesh (where average annual rainfall is ∼500 mm) to investigate the upstream/downstream impacts of WSD, and to develop guidelines for future design of WSD work.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIntegrated Assessment of Scale Impacts of Watershed Intervention
    Subtitle of host publicationAssessing Hydrogeological and Bio-Physical Influences on Livelihoods
    PublisherElsevier Ltd.
    Number of pages50
    ISBN (Electronic)9780128008461
    ISBN (Print)9780128000670
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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