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ALCES Modeling And Training For The Watershed Organization Trust In Pune, India

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Training WOTR staff to conduct modelling for rural study areas in Maharashtra, India, to identify key management actions that could improve both agricultural sustainability and maintenance of ecological goods and services.

The Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR) is a nonprofit group that works with rural Indians on watershed repair, water conservation, climate-change adaptation, and poverty reduction. WOTR acquired the ALCES (A Landscape Cumulative Effects Simulator) toolkit to understand and demonstrate the cumulative effects of human land uses in the watersheds in which WOTR works, and to identify management opportunities for improvement.

ALCES and IEG supported these efforts by populating the ALCES Integrator and Online models for the Akole study area (Maharashtra state), and by training WOTR staff in attribution and use of these models. Training was conducted over a period of approximately 9 months, and included both remote and on-site training. The models resulting from these training sessions were provided to WOTR, and both successfully demonstrated major trends in land use and environmental/resource stressors, and identified key management actions to improve performance and achieve WOTR’s goals. For example, we were able to demonstrate through the model the positive effects of WOTR’s landscape modifications (continuous-contour and water-accumulation trenches) to landscape water retention and well recharge, and the risks to agricultural production entailed by the use of high-yield, high-input crops in the face of increasing climate variability.