Watershed characterization and prioritization is carried out before taking up the task of management. Morphometric analysis plays significant role in prioritization of watersheds for proper use and various economic activities like animal husbandry. In the present study, morphometric investigations are used to ascertain plant growth potential of watershed for environmental management. Analysis was carried out in four sub-watersheds of Shivganga watershed using Geographic information system (GIS) technique for determining plant growth potential. The analysis includes linear aspects, aerial aspects and relief aspects. Exhaustive data requirements and individual biasness for assigning weights to various morphometric parameters affect the prioritization process. Thus, Weighted Sum Analysis (WSA) method is used in the present study for identifying sub-watersheds suitable for potential plant growth. The maximum elevation in Shivganga watershed is 1264 m in sub-watershed 1 (SW1) which increases stream flow velocity, erosion, minimized length of overland flow and quick water flow into streams contributing to hydrograph rise. It has been observed that sub-watershed 3 and 4 with low average slope show significant plant growth and contribute less runoff, relatively less land erosion and low peaks in hydrograph. The SW3 has highest potential for plant growth as it matches with the lowest weighted sum analysis. Thus, SW1 is given rank 1 with least compound factor value 1.317. The result illustrated that 13.64 to 45.40% of total area, falls in the good potential growth zone. The results of the work may be useful for watershed administrators and managers while planning conservation measures in the area.
GIS Morphometry Shivganga watershed Watershed prioritization Weighted sum analysis
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The authors are thankful to Head, Department of Environmental Sciences, and Department of Geology Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India for extending help to use the departmental laboratory for computing facilities.
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