Small-scale vegetable production can be crucial to improved livelihoods in developing countries — availability of (and access to) water is often a deciding factor in its success.
Participatory watershed development has become one of the most popular methods of tackling a whole range of resource-related challenges in rural areas. Below the approach is introduced.
The focus of watershed (catchment) development projects in India has been on improving agricultural production from poor and degraded lands. Water management has generally been limited to making better use of 'green' water (soil moisture for crops and trees) rather than 'blue' water (rivers, tanks or aquifers). Water and sanitation (WATSAN) is rarely given specific consideration – even where it is the main problem faced by rural communities and the key to improving livelihoods. This article considers how watershed (catchment) development projects might be modified to explicitly address WATSAN needs or challenges.
Over the past year, discussions have being going on within the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector on the possible implications of climate change on services provisions, and the practical adaptation measures that could or should be taken by the sector. Although not conclusive, two important points of agreement have emerged as a result of these discussions. First, climate change predictions are characterized by high levels of uncertainty, particularly at the spatial scales at which most decisions on WASH services provision are made. Second, while it should be taken very seriously, climate change is not the only, and probably not the most important, factor to consider in the short and medium term. This paper argues that the most effective approach to adaptation is to strengthen governance of the WASH sector, for example by adopting principles of adaptive management and by using tools such as scenario building as an integral part of decision-making. In addition, it calls for better embedding of WASH services provision within an integrated water resource management framework.