Hydrological Characterization of Benchmark Agricultural Watersheds in India, Thailand, and Vietnam. Global Theme 3: Water, Soil, and Agrobiodiversity Management for Ecosystem Health Report no. 2 uri icon


  • ICRISAT?s intervention in the project ?Improving Management of Natural Resources for Sustainable Rainfed Agriculture? funded by the Asian Development Bank aims to increase the productivity and sustainability of the medium and high water-holding capacity soils in the intermediate rainfall ecoregion of India, Thailand, and Vietnam. To implement this project ICRISAT selected five benchmark watersheds three in India, one in Thailand, and one in Vietnam ? to introduce improved crop production and natural resource management technologies. This work was carried out over three years (1999?2001) and promising results have been obtained on crop productivity gains as well as efficient use and conservation of natural resources. This report focuses on the impact of various watershed technologies on the surface and groundwater hydrology of the watersheds at all the five benchmark sites. The information on topography, rainfall, runoff, groundwater, and other relevant data were collected and analyzed. The hydrological data from the five benchmark watersheds clearly show the effectiveness of improved watershed technologies inreducing runoff volume and peak runoff rate and improving availability of groundwater. The highest runoff volume of 433 mm (51% of seasonal rainfall) was recorded from the Tad Fa watershed in Thailand, while the lowest runoff volume of 55 mm (7% of seasonal rainfall) was recorded from the Adarsha watershed in Kothapally, India. The highest peak runoff rate of 0.235 m3 s-1 ha-1 was recorded from the untreated watershed at Kothapally. Among the three sites in India, the highest runoff was recorded at Lalatora watershed in Madhya Pradesh. The highest contribution of seasonal rainfall to groundwater was recorded at Lalatora watershed (270 mm or 29% of seasonal rainfall). The hydrological behavior and data reported in this report will be useful in the planning, design, development, and management of natural resources in the target regions

publication date

  • 2002