Water management has increasingly been realized to be an essential component of sustainable water development. While no-one argues with the desirability of proper watershed management, achieving it has not been an easy task. It requires concurrent accomplishment of many tasks, among which are strict control of land-use practices, afforestation and forest management, and implementation of appropriate soil and water conservation practices. Two main impacts of inadequate watershed management are discussed. These are increased reservoir sedimentation which reduces storage capacity which may in turn render water projects uneconomic, and changing patterns of stream flow. It is argued that watershed management should not be viewed exclusively from the narrow perspective of benefits to water projects alone. It should be considered essential for soil and water conservation and forest management, which in the long run will enhance the prospect of self-reliance of nations in terms of food, fibre and energy.
By Asit K. Biswas, 1990. Article published in International Journal of Water Resources Development, Volume 6, Issue 4, pages 240-249. DOI: 10.1080/07900629008722479