National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee 247 667 (U.P.),
Knowledge of land use and hydro-geomorphology is important for planning and management activities concerned with the surface of the earth. The resource managers and planners for agricultural land use need detailed, timely, accurate and reliable data on the extent, location and quality of land and water resources and climate characteristics. The data on landuse potential and the conservation needs can help in planning for uses that will maintain the quality of land. The application of satellite remote sensing for land use surveys and mapping is gaining importance largely because of its ability to provide rapid and reliable data within a given time framework.
Development programmes concerning optimum utilisation of natural resources are now increasingly oriented with watershed as an integral unit. A watershed is a natural entity conforming to the increasing homogeneity of geomorhic sculpturing process. Watershed management implies rational utilisation of land and water resources for optimal and sustained production with the minimum hazard to natural resources and environment. It requires collection and analysis of great deal of information on physical relationship of vegetation-soil-water to land management to ensure economic and social progress of a watershed. The success of planing for developmental activities depends on the quality and quantity of information available on both natural and socio-economic resources. Therefore, accurate and reliable data base generation and management is extremely important for devising ways for optimal planning and management of watersheds.
Hilly regions of our country are facing a serious water availability crisis due to various developmental and economic activities in the hills and as a result of reduction in the protective vegetation cover and forests. Due to lack of the protective cover, the infiltration and subsequent recharge to ground water has declined adversely. Viable sources of water like springs, which are plenty in the hills, are drying up because of inadequate recharge of flow domain of the springs. This study attempts to quantify geomorphological characteristics, generation of various thematic data base in GIS format, derivation of land use information using remote sensing digital data, land capability classification and generation of alternate land use plan for the Danda watershed for proper management of natural resources in this mountainous watershed.
The Study Area
Danda watershed is located in Hindolakhal block of Devprayag Tehsil in Tehri Garhwal district of Uttar Pradesh. The Danda watershed lies between latitude 30° 13