The sustainable resource management program has evolved, planning the process of water usage as it becomes difficult to receive sufficient water supply to maintain the land in the future. Many countries depend heavily on natural resources for survival. Those countries are associated with the rapid growth of population, inefficient agricultural production, low off-farm sector production, and low developmental changes.
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They utilize the natural resources, such as public lands and forest lands, which are exploited by people to meet their basic needs, at most (Zin 83). This has been one of the major causes of drastic changes in the environment and nature in general because instead of being utilized for the purpose of achieving human welfare, it is rather used to bring about natural calamities which occur in form of landslides, soil erosion, floods, and droughts, among others. These have posed a serious threat to the fragile natural environment.
The first step to consider in planning sustainable watershed management is the prioritization of watersheds. The increasing patterns of hill-landslides and silt deposits in the major river systems are signs of serious watershed natural resources and environmental degradation problems. This can be contained through the prioritization of the watershed with respect to Soil Erosion status (SES). To achieve sustainable development of natural resources, watershed planning is crucial.
Prioritization enables the use of limited manpower, cost, and time optimally for watershed planning. It is impossible to implement Soil Conservation and Watershed Management (SCWM) programs in all areas at the same time given the financial and technological constraints (Erickson, Messner, and Ring 144). Moreover, it may be impossible to treat all areas immediately, although sometimes, such precautions are unnecessary in order to avoid further degradation of the watershed.
The second important thing in a sustainable watershed plan is community participation. Prioritization of sub-watersheds focusing on the participation of local people is an excellent approach in watershed management planning. It is definite that the living standard of people in a country can only be achieved in a sustainable way if watershed management planning emphasizing on conservation of natural resources is undertaken along with local people’s participation.
Participatory watershed management planning enables locals to identify programs based on their needs, capacities, and the possible level use of the resource present. They simultaneously make use of their knowledge and experience to come up with goals and objectives for the improvement of their villages or places. Without the support and participation of local people, Government initiatives in the soil conservation and watershed management work programs could not succeed.
The local population’s participation is obtained in the decision-making and planning of the project. They should be part of the decision-making and planning to express their views on what they think about the plan. The participation of the community can also be found in the implementation and maintenance of the project. They should make the plan effective by adopting and strictly following its guideline. In order to promote the idea of people’s participation, close cooperation with local people is required for the implementation of watershed planning.
Finally, the planning process should be implemented. The planning process can be carried out through two specific steps. The first stage is to develop regulatory guidance in form of a water Resource Ordinance touching every area in the country. This can be designed in a way to be included in each township and intersected with their particular ordinances, zoning, and plans. The second step calls for adopting the use and accessibility of computer and in-house capabilities for data used to enable each area to maximize the utilization of the data developed anywhere within the country.
This will be in form of a Watershed Data System; however, the problem is that some of the areas have already got access to the computer system, while others have not had yet. In integrating the country plan, we have to ensure that the river conservation planning process is compatible in form and in substance, to prevent it from being in conflict with country guidance as much sustainable environment management is concerned. The plan should contain the following guidelines for the purpose of offering the best solution for a sustainable watershed management plan (Heathcote 8). These guidelines should include the following.
First, depletive water utilization should be limited to about 50%. This will help reduce water depletion levels to manageable levels. Second, proposals should be made concerning the development of land with consideration of the effects of water resources on the proposal. This proposal should be made by the stakeholders of the land. Third, permission should be given to individuals and the community in regard to wastewater systems and include the limitation of net effects of groundwater quality, and nitrate concentration to 10mg/l. Forth, the utilization of groundwater should be accompanied by groundwater for both the individual and community systems. Fifth, the criteria used to manage stormwater should demand recharge of all increased runoff, and the criteria for detention should be used only as of the solution of the last resort. And finally, link with public sewer system which transfers wastewaters should be compensated by import of water from sources external to the sub-basin.
In conclusion, to achieve an effective sustainable watershed management plan, the above key issues should be considered. Prioritization of the watershed and community participation is the most significant issue to consider before the plan is implemented. In implementation process, all the guidelines provided should be put to effect across the country for the sustainable watershed plan to be efficient. Moreover, all the stakeholders of the watershed including the community should participate to improve and make the plan work.
How has your idea of sustainability changed over the course?
My idea of watershed management plan has changed in a number of ways. Let’s begin by the watershed protection. Watershed protection involves protection of lake, river or other water bodies by managing the whole watershed that flows into it. Education has been provided all over to the communities and properties of the watershed in regard to how to improve the protection of watershed. Effective land use and improvement of water quality help communities make decisions about how to protect their streams.
Globally, there have been demands on water services for the purpose of meeting the ecological needs. This has made the society pursue for better sustainable solutions that may make it easy for all people to get access to clean water. Emphasis has been placed on the importance of ecological services as section of the management plan in new approaches. An ecological service brings out clearly the importance of nature in ensuring the availability of safe and clean drinking water.
The recognition of the true value of water is of great importance to the objective of achieving sustainability of water supply systems and ensuring its reliability. Finding out how people use water may help improve the utilization of water and minimize costs affected by giving the challenges to the water valuation. Challenging the methods used to value water and chances to benefit from water systems and societal attitudes is the major approach.
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Diarrheal diseases affect many people across the globe and are the barrier to achieve health objectives, as provided by various organizations. We cannot rely on technology alone as it cannot guarantee access to clean water as such social causes as health, culture and behavior can work best in designing implementation strategies.
Some people suggest that interventions and water services programs need to include these social factors and take into account the communities developing the design, implementation and assessment of these programs.
There are approaches designed to conduct integrated water resources planning evaluations. These plans help link various water resources to ensure easy management of the water resources. There have also been strategies for water balance in terms of information about the demand and supply of water. User-friendly interfaces, such as Graphical drag-and-drop GIS-based, which has flexible model outputs as maps, charts and tables, have enabled the sustainable management strategies to be easily effected.
In many places all over the world, water services policies are divided. Various different agencies monitor the aspects of water services ranging from those that protect the watersheds to those that control water from the taps. This circumstance may also be different if an individual lives in a community with limited access to technology or in urban place with a community water system. There has been an attempt to achieve sustainable water services which includes social, economical and technological aspects. Sustainable watershed management plan involves preservation of the great lakes through personal responsibility.
The stakeholders of the watershed should cooperate in planning the sustainable watershed management. They should decide on effective guidelines to be followed, as much as the watershed is concerned. These stakeholders include the local people, nearby factories, the government agencies and every other party involved that benefit from the watershed. The participation of the stakeholders is important because they can give their ideas on how the watershed can be improved to meet their needs effectively.
The stakeholders should also ensure the protection of the watershed from pollution and destruction. For example, the community leaders should warn the local people on disposing wastes into a river, while the government can impose standards on emissions and fines to the factory found disposing waste into the river. If this is attained, then the ecological needs for water and the sustainable management can be achieved.
Erickson, Jon David, Frank, Messner and Irene, Ring. Ecological Economics of Sustainable Watershed Management. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing, 2007. Print.
Heathcote, Isobel W. Integrated Watershed Management: Principles and Practice. New York: John Wiley & Sons , 2009. Print.
Zin, Min Thant. Developing a Scientific Basis for Sustainable Management of Tropical Forest Watersheds. Fribourg: Universitätsverlag Göttingen, 2005. Print.