Thursday, September 12, 2013

Gully Plugging is an appropriate technique for water and soil conservation.-SEVAI Experience.

Gully plugging SEVAI Watershed in Dasilnaickanoor
The interior villages of Karur District of Tamilnadu faced acute summer during 2012-13.Trees planted and grown for decades were vanishing. Some village such as Dasilnaicknoor of Kulitalai Taluk with stood the drought to some extent and kept the trees alive due to the watershed project implemented in these area by SEVAI,a Trichy based NGO.  The small gullies bund constructed by SEVAI in this dry land prevents the run of water to walk. A Gully being formed in the middle of the farm prevented erosion of soil from the beginning itself. Such bunds would make two parts of one field, thus making it difficult to plough, but the farmers are ready to do it. The Small dam structures constructed across erosion gullies are small low structures built across a gully to prevent them from deepening further. These small structures reduce the speed of water flow and minimise the erosive power of runoff. They also promote the deposition of eroded materials to further stabilise the gullies. The main purpose was to control the further development of the gullies, which were affecting the adjacent grazing land and blocking a downstream channel. The site is community land of Dasilnaickanoor village in the SEVAI watershed.  Soil along the slope and top is protected from erosion due to flowing water. Thus work of soil conservation is done without any special hi-tech technique.  Contour bunding is a proven sustainable land management practice for marginal, sloping, and elevated land where the soil productivity is very low. SEVAI had successfully used this technology to control soil erosion, promote water retention, and increase crop production. It has a high probability of replication because it is simple to implement, is low cost, and makes the maximum use of local resources. Farmers use a multi-step process to promote the formation of rough terraces along contour lines on sloping land. The process is labour intensive and farmers need to regularly check and maintain the bunds to allow the soil to collect. As flowing water is obstructed, rate of infiltration is increased. It is possible to develop zero run-off watershed. All flowing water percolates into the soil.  Income level from waste land increased and this water and soil conservation measures are cost effective. –Govin

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