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Gangeshwar watershed analysis and soil erosion modelling in southern Rajasthan, India

Student name: Ms Momisha
Guide: Dr Chander Kumar Singh
Year of completion: 2018
Host Organisation: Water Harvest, India Liaison Office
Supervisor (Host Organisation): Mr O. P. Sharma
Abstract: Vegetation and Agriculture are major land resources and the factors governing them are the availability of water and the condition of soil. This project looks into an area near around the Gangeshwar Watershed, Southern Rajasthan where many NGOs, governmental institutions and individuals have worked so far. This has been a hotspot for many studies since it is water scarce and initiatives have been taken to rejuvenate or artificially recharge the ground water levels. The objective of this project consisted of two phases. The first part is to map the availability of water since these initiatives of recharging groundwater artificially has commenced. Temporal change detection maps supporting area change under vegetation in the Gangeshwar watershed using commercial satellite imagery have resulted in an increase of more than 15% land area as of 2017 under vegetation from an initial 5% in 2004. The other part of the work was to establish the various parameters such as erosive force of rain, soil characteristics and their erodibility, the type of land cover with respect to land use and vegetation, topography and support practices in account so as to quantify the average soil erosion rate for multiple watersheds in the Udaipur District, Southern Rajasthan using the RUSLE model of estimation. This gives results of soil loss at an average of 145.62ton ha-1 yr-1which strongly links to the land use pattern of the area and hence suitable erosion controls or soil conservation practices may be proposed.