Watershed management includes selection of watershed, watershed characterization, watershed prioritization, analysis of natural resources, identification of constraints, development of action plan, implementation of action plan, monitoring and impact assessment. During 1990s’ for the first time medium resolution satellite data was used for monitoring the impact of soil conservations measures in watershed of Kundah, Lower Bhavani and Tungabhadra catchments using temporal data.

LISS-I, II, III,IV and Cartosat-1 from Indian Remote Sensing Satellites have been successfully employed over the last 25 years for the above activities through projects like National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) and Integrated Mission for Sustainable Development (IMSD) Under NATP programme, the problems / potentials of the rainfed rice, cotton, pulses, oilseeds and kharif and rabi sorghum crop growing areas are studied using remote sensing and GIS techniques on watershed basis at 1:50K scale and micro-watershed at 1:12.5K scale. The work was carried out in 11 watersheds covering total geographical area of 13.5 lakh hectares in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Assam. In these watersheds / micro watersheds, natural resources such as soils, land use / land cover, hydro-geomorphology and drainage were mapped using IRS-LISS-III /PAN data supported by ground truth and ancillary data. Action plans were developed for covering various aspects of crops, soil and water conservation. These plans were implemented on the ground, monitored using satellite data and the impact has been evaluated.

ISRO to Monitor IWMP watersheds through Bhuvan

Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) is a flagship programme of Department of Land Resources (DoLR), Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. Space technology currently with the high spatial and temporal resolution satellite data are envisaged for effectively planning, monitoring and evaluation of IWMP activities. Further such data could of immense help in tracking the implementation, midcourse corrections and for assessing long-term effectiveness of the programme. Towards the above National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), ISRO has designed and developed the required technological interventions for monitoring and evaluation of IWMP watersheds through the Bhuvan Geo-ICT Web portal -SRISHTI. In addition, a Mobile Aplication – DRISHTI has also been developed that will integrate field level activities and their monitoring with Bhuvan portal.

SRISHTI facilitates Decision makers at National and State level to monitor program implementation at different levels, including at the local level on the geoportal, while State Level Nodal Agencies (SLNA) and Watershed Cell Development Centres (WCDC) are facilitated with necessary tools on the package to provide specific inputs on implementation of the program at micro-watershed level. DRISHTI a smart phone based application is suitably designed and developed towards realizing the objective of modernizing the field data collection process for monitoring watershed activities, where in it can be used at field level to capture actual field realities of project implementation and sending the same to the Bhuvan Server. Monitoring & Evaluation (M & E) of IWMP watersheds in ten states viz. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Odisha, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Nagaland has already been initiated through Bhuvan.


National Remote Sensing Centre , ISRO has been awarded Abhinav-Innovations Award for best practices in Watershed management. Director, NRSC Dr. V.K.Dadhwal along with NRSC team received the award from Hon’ble Union Minister for Rural Development & Panchayat Raj, Drinking water and sanitation, Shri. Chaudhary Birender Singh at a function in New Delhi on 19th February 2015. During the Abhinav Innovation event , Hon’ble Minister inaugurated the web portal and released the user manual.

MOU Signed Between NRSC, ISRO and Department of Land Resources

MOU was signed between Department of Land Resources and NRSC for developing the Bhuvan Geoportal – Srishti and the mobile application Drishti. The MOU was signed by Dr. Sandeep Dave, Joint Secretary, Department of Land Resources and Dr. V K Dadhwal, Director, NRSC on 29.4.2015 in presence of Shri Birender Singh, Hon’ble Minister of Rural Development, at Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi. Dr Jitendra Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office, Shri Sudarshan Bhagat, Hon’ble Minister of State for Rural Development, Smt. Vandana Kumari Jena, Secretary, Department of Land Resources and Dr. A. S. Kiran Kumar, Secretary, Dept of Space and Chairman, ISRO were also present during the function.


The Government of India has been implementing the erstwhile Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), now the Watershed Component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) since 2009-10. Considering the vastness and diversity of the activities undertaken in the programme, use of space technology is very apt for monitoring and evaluation such a programme. Accordingly, the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), ISRO in partnership with DoLR is designing and developing the required technological interventions for the monitoring and evaluation of IWMP watersheds through the Bhuvan Geo-Web portal -SRISHTI. In addition, a Mobile Application – DRISHTI has also been developed that will integrate field level activities and their monitoring with Bhuvan portal.

Monitoring & Evaluation (M & E) of about 50,000 micro-watersheds in ten states and 50 districts where PMO has advised intensive monitoring, has already been initiated through Bhuvan, at a cost of Rs. 35 crores with a time frame of 5 years. Development and launching of the web portal includes intensive training and capacity building of the field functionaries who are expected to use this facility. As a part of the MOU, NRSC will provide satellite data, facilitate customized tools on Bhuvan for monitoring and visualization of watersheds, create a customized Bhuvan web page for IMWP, develop a customized mobile application, analyze land cover changes and impact analysis in selected watersheds and conduct trainings. The State level implementing agencies have already started using the portal.