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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.
National Watershed Programme for Rainfed Areas
River Valley Project
Drought Prone Area Development Programme
Desert  Development Programme
Integrated Wasteland Development Programme
Western Ghats Development Programme
Karnataka Watershed Development Project
NABARD Assisted Watershed Development Project
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