APPLICATIONS OF REMOTE SENSING AND GIS IN WATERSHED MANAGEMENT
REMOTE SENSING & GIS
II sem M.Tech Geoinformatics
VTU RC KSRSAC
- is a natural hydrological unit
- Topographically delineated area drained by a stream system,
from which runoff resulting from precipitation flow past from a
point into single stream.
- Development is not confined just to agriculture lands but covers
entire catchment's area.
- Watershed approach is holistic, linking upstream and
-Practical approach in planning, directed at preservation,
conservation, development, management and exploitation of
natural resources for the benefit of people.
This is the PROCESS of GUIDING & ORGANISING,
Land and Other Resource Usage in a Watershed
Ensuring the Sustenance of the Environment
(Mainly the Soil and Water Resources)
i.e., need to recognize the interrelationships between,
LAND USE, SOIL-WATER, and SLOPE OF TERAIN
Unifying Focus in watershed management is in how various
human activities affect the relationship between water and
other natural resources
Provides a basis for actions concerning the development and
Watershed Management Concerns
PREVENTING deterioration of existing
relationships between the use of natural
resources within a watershed
RESTORING sustainable relationships which
had been destroyed due to actions in the past
THERE BY ENSURE THE BEST USE OF
RESOURCES IN A WATERSHED
Watershed Management Strategies
- Those Aimed at Preserving Suitable Existing Land Use
- Those Targeting to Overcome Identified Problems or
to restore conditions to a Desirable level both
Environmentally and Politically
Watershed Development Approach
- Integrated and multi-disciplinary approach.
- To suggest possible exploitation of resources within the limits of tolerance.
-Approach is Preventive, Progressive, Corrective & Curative.
• Conservation of Soil and Water
• Improved ability of land to hold water
• Maintaining adequate vegetative cover for controlling soil
• Rain water harvesting and ground water recharging.
• Promotes economic and social development of community
• Employment generation and other income generation
• Ecological balance
ROLE OF REMOTE SENSING
Useful for generating environmental indicators that can be
integrated with collateral data and social indicators.
- Synoptic view, Multi-resolution, multi-spectral, repetitive
offers appropriate method for quick, unbiased mapping and
monitoring of natural resources both in space and time
- Timely and accurate information on spatial distribution –
land use, soil, vegetation density, forest, geology, water
- RS data in conjunction with collateral data helps in
delineation of ridge line, characterization, prioritization,
erosion prone areas, etc.
Water Harvesting Sites
The crop yield has increased by in dry land farming
The soil loss due to erosion was brought down
Large extents of barren hill slopes were covered by vegetation.
Large tracts of marginal lands brought under dry land Horticulture
Development of Agro-Horti and Agro-Forestry systems.
Water resources were harvested through nala bunds, farm ponds,
Regeneration of grass lands for more fodder and grass.
The income of farmers increased considerably.
Benefits derived from Watershed Methodology
Human resource development (community development),
Soil and land management,
Livestock management, rural energy management and
Farm and non farm value addition activities;
The watershed development approach,
as implemented in Karnataka,
consists of following components
Electromagnetic Spectrum –
Spectral Location Nominal Principal Application
0.45 - 0.52 Blue Coastal water mapping, soil / vegetation,
0.52 - 0.62 Green Vegetation discrimination,
0.62- 0.69 Red Chlorophyll absorption region,
0.76 - 0.90 Near IR Vegetation, water body, soil moisture
1.55 - 2.35 Mid IR Moisture content, Snow &Cloud, Mineral &
rock discrimination, vegetation moisture content
8- 14 Thermal IR Vegetation, Soil moisture discrimination
1 cm – 1m Microwave Soil moisture
Satellite Imagery for updation.
•Survey of India toposheets in
1 : 250,000 scale
1 : 50,000 scale
• Water bodies
• Drainage Network
Steps involved in watershed development
Generation of drainage map
Delineation of watersheds
Characterization of watersheds on a smaller scale
Prioritization of watersheds/selection
Characterization of watersheds on a larger scale
Preparation of action plan
Monitoring of developmental activities
Post treatment management
Basin Catchment Sub-catchment Watershed
Nos. 6 35 112 500 3237
Region Basin Catchments Subcatchments Watersheds
2 6 15 48 234
Alpha-Numeric symbolic codes consisting alternative Arabic numbers and
English alphabet letters are used to designate different stages of
In the eighth stage of delineation small letter English alphabet has been
used by KSRSAC to indicate the least area of the watershed.
WRR’s are assigned Arabic number 1,2,3,…..
Basins are assigned alphabet capital letters A,B,C,…..
Catchments are assigned Arabic numbers 1,2,3,…..
Sub-catchments are assigned alphabet capitol letters A,B,C,…..
Watersheds are assigned Arabic number 1,2,3,…..
Sub-watersheds are assigned alphabet capital letters A,B,C,…..
Mini-watersheds are assigned Arabic number 1,2,3,…..
Micro-watersheds are assigned alphabet small letters a,b,c,….
Sub-watershed will have the code 4D3D6A
Mini-watershed will have the code 4D3D6A1
Micro-watershed will have the code 4D3D6A1a
4 B 3 B 7 C 5 d
4 B 3 B 7 C 5 dExample :
CHARACTERISTICS OF WATERSHEDS
All characteristics affect the disposal of water.
SIZE: It helps in computing parameters like
precipitation received, retained, drained off.
SHAPE: Different shapes based on morphological
parameters like geology and structure, eg. pear, elongated
PHISIOGRAPHY: Lands altitude and physical
SLOPE: It controls the rainfall distribution and
CLIMATE: It decides the quantitative approach.
DRAINAGE: It determines the flow characteristics and
so the erosion behavior.
CHARACTERISTICS OF WATERSHEDS
VEGETATION: Information of species gives a sure
ground for selection plants and crops.
GEOLOGY AND SOILS: Their nature determines size,
shape, physiographic, drainage and groundwater
conditions. Soils, derivative of rocks are the basic to
HYDROLOGY: Basic to final goal of growing greenery in
a watershed. It helps in quantification of water available.
HYDROGEOLOGY: Availability of groundwater.
SOCIOECONOMICS: Statistics on people and their
health, hygiene, wants and wishes are important in
What is prioritization?
Prioritization is a process of identifying areas of main
concern based on single or many parameters
Selection of one or few watersheds out of many
watersheds by using predefined set of criteria
Inputs Weightage Source
Silt Yield Index/Soil
20 AIS and LUS / KSRSAC
SC/ST Population 20 Census of India,2001
Irrigated area 10 KSRSAC (Satellite Data,2000-2001)
Wastelands 20 KSRSAC (Satellite Data,2000-2001)
100 years average, Preliminary Data
from DES & analyzed at KSRSAC
Census of India,2001
Forest Cover 10 KSRSAC (Satellite Data,2000-2001)
Criteria selected and Data source used for watershed
MONITORING THE WATERSHED
The following parameters have been considered for
monitoring and evaluation purpose which could be
derived from satellite data:
Cropped Area Changes in areal extent
of agricultural crops
Plantations Increase in horticultural
and forest plantations
Wastelands Change in areal extent
Alternate Use Switch over of agricultural
Waterbody Change in number and
Biomass Overall changes in
biomass/ canopy cover/
POINTS TO BE CONSIDERED BEFORE TAKING UP IMPACT
1. SATELLITE IMAGES SHOULD BE OBTAINED ONLY AFTER CONSIDERABLE
TIME AFTER IMPLEMENTATION( 6-10 YEARS)
2. CONDITIONS SHOULD BE SIMILAR FOR PRE AND POST TREATMENT
RAINFALL- QUANTUM,DISTRIBUTION, ETC
SOWING SEASON- EARLY/DELAY
3. AVAILABILTY OF SATELLITE DATA FOR REQUIRED DATES
4. RESOLUTION OF SATELLITE DATA-
SHOULD BE SAME FOR PRE AND POST
Address the overall impact on Natural Resources & Socio -Economic aspects
• Before (Baseline)
• During (Midterm)
• End of the Project
• Post Project
Impact Community / Village
Micro / Sub Watershed
Indicators for Impact Assessment
Ground Water level/Yield
Change in Irrigated Area
Climate Change &
Land Use Change
Economic potential of
Impact on Milk yield
Pre Treatment (1997) Image Post Treatment (2004)Image
Comparison of Satellite Images for Koralhalli Halla
•The interrelated nature of land and water resources calls for a holistic approach
towards watershed management.
•Because of the ability to obtain synoptic view and repetitive coverage, remote
sensing lends itself as a powerful input media.
•Unbiased reproduction of the natural features in the form of photograph
/imagery and thereby economising the multi disciplinary approach for planning
of natural resources in a watershed for integrated development.
•Technologies like GIS lend a helping hand in organisation of these huge
databases in a structured format.
•GIS integrate multi-thematic information ,analyse the information in an
•GIS help arrive at timely and appropriate decisions related to resource
•KARNATAKA WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT BOARD
•FUNDAMENTALS OF REMOTE SENSING:GEORGE JOSEPH
• CENTRAL WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT BOARD
•ALL INDIA SOIL AND LAND USE SURVEY