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Watershed Management Print E-mail
AA International Ltd staff have developed general tools and approaches that combine community participation with technical accuracy in a Watershed Management Handbook. Events relate to the Watershed Management Cycle, shown below.

The rationale for a watershed based approach to development accepts that the watershed is a physical unit identifiable by fixed boundaries and that watersheds are linked through a series of levels that provide biophysical networks of inter-dependencies across the country/countries from mountains to the sea. The watershed unit, therefore, provides a framework for integrated development.  Environmental impact can be measured within such units in a meaningful manner.  At the same time, the fundamental importance of environmental degradation reversal is more easily identified when it is seen to be protecting a common good, water.  Subsidising the process is, therefore, more readily justified from national and international budgets, when district and village levels -1o and 1o are linked to national and international levels through stream orders 2o, 3o, 4o and finally 5o, the continental level leading to the oceans.

Unfortunately, catchments invariably cut across administrative boundaries, which tend to follow drainage lines.  They, therefore, require the creation of new institutions to provide the necessary management and levels of participation that extend far beyond levels currently experienced.
The figure below describes a new watershed management cycle.

Diagramatic watershed cycel

This new watershed management cycle includes four levels of simultaneous cycling:
Cycle 1: Policy and strategy likely to be determined at national level;
Cycle 2: Foundation practices, which fit the classic land-forming, tree planting, terrace building project concepts and will eventually end, but may involve several phases until the watershed is completely treated;
Cycle 3: Secondary practices will constitute a mosaic of out-of-phase projects, relating to communities, household groupings and individual households;
Cycle 4: Other influences outside the control of managers but need careful monitoring and should be incorporated by any planning. The more marginal the area, the fewer the number of such influences. 
The Watershed Management Handbook, developed by AA International is a users' guide based on Tigray, Ethiopia. It has actual data and real experiences as well as the theory behind the approach that has been so effectively applied by REST in Tigray. Download the Watershed Management Handbook here.
AAInternational Ltd can assist in the application of this cycle in a number of ways:

Existing situation analyses
Stakeholder analyses
Technical and managerial capability assessments and needs analyses;
Training programmes
Special natural resource and socio/economic technical assistance


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