Comprehensive watershed system to be adopted on UAS-B campus

The University of Agricultural Sciences-Bangalore has taken up an ambitious project to convert its entire 1,300-acre campus into a comprehensive watershed system using scientific method so that not a drop of rainwater goes waste.

Under the proposed comprehensive watershed system, said to be the first of its kind in the country’s agricultural sciences universities, the UAS-B will build eight new ponds. At present there are six major and six minor watershed ponds.

UAS-B Director of Research M.A. Shankar said different catchment areas have been identified within the campus based on the nature of terrains, contour divides and water flow pattern. The project is said to become a watershed model for others especially the institutions with campuses, he says.

The project, which is being taken up at a cost of Rs. 40 lakh, would be completed in about six months from now, he said. The university has taken the services of retired soil conservators of the State Agriculture Department to implement the scheme.

UAS-B Vice-Chancellor K. Narayana Gowda, who conceptualised the project, says the intention is to put in place a highly efficient system of watershed where every drop of rainwater is put to use.

“We decided to develop the entire university campus into a watershed system after our terrible experience during summer this year when there was severe water shortage. With the increasing number of big and luxury apartments mushrooming around the university campus, the groundwater level has depleted in the campus as these apartments account for a large number of borewells which go as deep as 1,500 feet. Such was the water shortage that we took Cauvery water connection. That made us think seriously about the comprehensive watershed model,” Prof. Gowda said.

Head of UAS-B’s Horticulture Department B.N. Sathyanarayana, who monitored the task of reviving this huge watershed tank, says that the tank got filled up now after nearly two decades.

“Water is becoming increasingly precious. Unless we try to preserve it and recharge the groundwater through the above methods, we will have to face a tough time,” he says.

The works related to the revival of the above watershed system was inaugurated by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research Director-General S. Ayyappan before the commencement of the monsoon.

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