What is watershed management?
Watershed is the geographic area which water flows across the land and drains into a common body of water such as a river or the ocean.
Watershed management is the process of implementing land use and water management practices to protect and improve the quality of the water and other natural resources within a watershed by managing the use of those land and water resources.
Why is watershed management so important?
Everything upstream ends up downstream – our everyday activities can affect what ultimately drains into other bodies of water. The quality and quantity of surface water and storm water can significantly impact the land, roads, agriculture and other urban development. Developing and implementing water quality protection and restoration activities is essential to addressing the impact of this issue.
How does the Ministry support?
Our work includes planning, investigation, design, and implementation of flood mitigation works in the watershed. Flood mitigation works usually involve the construction of a flood retention weir dam in the upper or middle reaches of the river system, where the maximum flood water can retain within the channels. These small-scale infrastructures have multiple purpose functions; drought mitigation, water supply for domestic use, irrigation for agricultural crops, aquaculture and eco-tourism development. Structural engineering measures such as retention dams control the flow of flood waters during high-intensity rainfall, and reduce the impact of flooding in the lower river basin.
We recognize the need for measures to mitigate the social, economic and environmental detriment caused by mismanagement of land and water resources in the watershed. The Ministry is planning new dams within the Nadi watershed and other watersheds around the nation, to address the flooding through attenuation of flood peak by controlled release of water through retention dams. With this conceptual approach, the Ministry is taking a lead role to address these complex issues in order to undertake coordinated planning and management of watersheds.