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Major Areas :: Dryland Agriculture :: Soil & Water Conservation Techniques

Engineering Measures - Check dams

Check dams constructed across gullies will serve as an effective water harvesting structure like mini percolation ponds. Even though their main purpose is for controlling the development of gullies, series of check dams across a gully course will help augment the filling up of water in the existing wells nearby on both sides of the gully. Check dams is an structures built on at 500 feet distances in water canal.

Depth of soil (m) Base width (m) Top width (m) Height (m) Side slope (m) Area cross section (sq.m)
Shallow soils (7.5 22.5 cm) 2.67 0.38 0.75 1.5 : 1 1.14
Medium soil (22.5 45 cm) 3.12 0.60 0.85 1.5 : 1 1.56
Medium deep soils 4.25 0.60 0.90 1.5 : 1 2.18

Different types of check dams :

Concrete check dams Concrete wall check dams
Stone wall check dams Loose boulder check dams

Salient features

  • Check dams at suitable intervals should be constructed to avoid gully formation and to control soil erosion and recharge ground water.
  • The stored water can be used to grow crops.
  • Situation like Contour bunding or other soil and moisture conservation practices are not adopted means it will cause soil erosion due to rainfall and developed gullies. Finally land will not suitable for cultivation.
  • The water can be used for Agriculture purposes; Fish rearing and increased the utility of water based activities.
  • It can be built as permanent concrete structures or with stones, Bamboo and wooden planks as temporary measure.
  • To improve localized irrigation facilities by developing a network of checkdams, streams and canals .
  • Check dams facilitate infiltration of water into the soil.
  • Check dams store water.
  • Check dams Control runoff and accelerates recharging.
  • Check dams provide enough time and space for the water to soak into the soil.
Gully control Constructed check dam across gully

Factors to be considered :

  • Factors such as runoff, depth and width of the stream/river.
  • people's participation.
  • availability of manpower and construction materials.
  • other local peculiarities etc. need to be taken into consideration during the planning and designing of check dams.

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