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The Department of Soil and Water Conservation Punjab takes care of Soil and Water in the State. The natural resources of Soil and Water are most important for sustaining agricultural production. The preservation and up-gradation of soil and water resources is being given the top priority at the national level. Therefore, the department has an important role in conservation of these resources. The department carries out the following functions:

  • The department carries out survey of soils and prepares soil inventory of different type of soils in the State. The soils are classified as per their capability. The data bank on the soils is utilized for formulating strategy and schemes for best utilization of the soils and also preparing schemes for conservation and up gradation of soils and water resources.
  • The department executes schemes/ projects for conservation of soils and water resources in the State. These projects are being implemented under the State Plan Schemes and Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
  • The nucleus cell of State Land Use Board, functions under the department and is responsible for maintaining updated data of soil & water resources and keeps liaison with other departments and organizations connected with the land use and for generating awareness for optimum and judicious use of soil and water resources in the State.


The Activities/Works executed by the department under various schemes of Soil Conservation and Water Management:-

Soil Conservation Activities on Watershed Basis

  • Land leveling/ Land grading
  • Bench Terracing
  • Gully reclamation & soil erosion control works on watershed basis
  • Water Harvesting structures are constructed
  • Tapping of perennial flow(Makowal type)
  • Contour bunding
  • Drainage line treatment
  • Chiseling of Soils.
  • Scrapping of sand dunes
  • Ravine reclamation
  • Reclamation of alkaline/saline & water logged area.
  • Contour Vegetative hedges
  • Horticulture Development
  • Earthen Loose boulders with vegetative support in upper, middle and lower reaches
  • Loose boulders with Gabion structures
  • Spillways
  • Percolation Tanks
  • Land use incentive for moisture conservation
  • Silvipastural development
  • Afforestation
  • Agro forestry
  • Vegetative filter stripes in place of diversion drains
  • Crop demonstrations
  • Dryland horticulture
  • Composite horticulture
  • Household production system such as poultry, Piggery, bee keeping, Sericulture, mushroom cultivation, Production of bio fertilizers
  • Bio mass/Agro processing such as basket making, rope making leaf plants and saucers, wood carving and toy making, extraction, poultry, Charkha
  • Bank stabilization with vegetative measures
  • Small dugout/sunken ponds
  • Runoff management dug out pond with vegetative inlets and outlets
  • Live stock management

Soil Survey Works

  • Collection of field information of soils
  • Laboratory analysis
  • Correlation and Classification
  • Mapping of soils
  • Establishing & drawing boundaries of different kind of soils on the standard base map and prediction about the potential of soils for alternate use
  • Different types of soil survey are conducted in the field i.e. Reconnaissance Survey, Semi detailed survey, Detailed soil survey, Wasteland mapping etc.
  • The projects of soils survey are Soils map, Soil Survey reports

Water Management Works

  • Laying of Underground pipeline for irrigation from tubewells, canal outlets etc
  • Natural & Artificial Ground Water Recharging
  • Construction & maintenance of common watercourses
  • Utilization of sullage water for irrigation
  • Drip irrigation
  • Micro Sprinkler Irrigation
  • Lift Irrigation projects

Machinery Division:

The department has a fleet of 5 bulldozers, 1 Excavator-cum-loaders & 3 Tractors for undertaking various soil & conservation works in the State. There is a separate division for running & maintenance of machinery working under Divisional Soil Conservation Officer with its Headquarter at Mohali.

Training Institute:

There is a Training Institute at Mohali to impart training to farmers and Technical persons upto the level of Soil Conservation Officers. The courses cover all the practical aspects of Soil & Water Conservation works such as land leveling, bench terracing, contour bounding, gully reclamation, water harvesting dams and drainage etc and also give lessons of practice in preparation of plan & estimates etc.

State Land Use Board:

A nucleus cell i.e. Land Use Board has been created to assess the land resources like soil, water & vegetation and is responsible for maintaining a soil inventory, to keep liaison with other departments and organizations connected with land use and for generating awareness for optimum & judicious use of soil & water resources in the State.


Underground Pipeline System (UGPS)

Replacement of open irrigation channels with underground pipeline system for conveyance. It helps save about 30% water. Farmers can opt for RCC, PVC or HDPE pipes

Laying of underground pipeline saves water upto extent of 30%, which is also corroborated by evaluation studies carried out by ICAR and NABARD. Saving of irrigation water to this extent means that this amount of water withdrawal from ground shall be reduced. Besides the water conservation, additional advantages for farming community is reduced labour and maintenance costs. This intervention also saves about 2-3% of land, wasted on account of construction of open channels which can be put under agricultural use.

Type of Assistance Provided:

  • Capital assistance @90% on Community UGPS projects mainly in canal command areas under RKVY, PIDB, RIDF-17, RIDF-21 and Sangrur-Barnala schemes.
  • Subsidy @50% on Individual UGPS projects in tubewell commands areas under Crop Diversification Programme
under ground pipeline system

Micro Irrigation(MI) - Drip and Sprinkler Irrigation systems

Ascientific method of irrigation carrying desired water and nutrients direct to the root zone of the plant, drop by drop. It is a technique in which water flows through a filter into special drip pipes, with emitters located at different spacing. Water is distributed through the emitters directly into the soil near the roots through a special slow-release device. If the drip irrigation system is properly designed, installed, and managed, drip irrigation may help achieve water conservation by reducing evaporation and deep drainage. Compared to other types of irrigation systems such as flood or overhead sprinklers, water can be more precisely applied to the plant roots. In addition, drip can eliminate many diseases that are spread through irrigation water. Drip irrigation is adaptable to any farmable slope and is suitable for most soils.


  • High water application efficiency and lower labour costs.
  • Minimised fertiliser/nutrient loss due to localised application and reduced leaching.
  • Ability to irrigate irregular shaped fields. Levelling of the field not necessary.
  • Allows safe use of recycled (waste) water.
  • Moisture within the root zone can be maintained at field capacity and minimised soil erosion.
  • Soil type plays less important role in frequency of irrigation.
  • Highly uniform distribution of water i.e., controlled by output of each nozzle.
  • Usually operated at lower pressure than other types of pressurised irrigation, reducing energy costs.

Assistance provided:

  • Subsidy calculated as per PMKSY Micro Irrigation Guidelines
  • Subsity subject to fund availability with the department.
  • Priority tubewell connection for farmer opting for micro irrigation system
micro-irrigation image
micro irigation image

Laying of Underground Pipeline for Irrigation using Treated Water from Sewerage Treatment Plants

The Project aims to provide treated water from these sewerage treatment plants for irrigation through network of underground pipelines. The availability of irrigation water from this source will not only reduce stress on other water resources especially the ground water, which is declining at tremendous rate in the State. The state of Punjab has taken a major initiative under the programme “Cleaning of Rivers” for treatment of municipal waste water by installation of Sewerage Treatment Plants across all major cities, towns besides for cluster of villages wherein underground sewerage facility is available. This programme is flagship programme of State Govt and is personally monitored by Hon’ble Chief Minister, Punjab. The Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board along with Punjab Urban Development Agency have already installed Sewerage Treatment Plants for treatment of municipal waste water for all major cities and towns of the State. The construction of STP’s for other townships and cluster of villages are currently underway. Till date approx 45 nos of STP’s are functioning and almost 60 nos of STP’s are nearing completion along with 70 nos of STP’s are in course of planning and execution stage. This mean that abundant amount of treated water is available for utilization in agriculture.

Major Advantages

  • Reduced stress on ground water aquifers, which inturn are replenished and the declining trend of water levels is arrested.
  • More potable water availability as use of treated water for irrigation purposes reduces use of potable water in agriculture.
  • Environmental pollution is mitigated as untreated water will not be released into the environment.
  • Farmers dependence on other sources of irrigation is reduced as treated water will be available through out the year.
  • Use of less inorganic or chemical fertilizers as treated sewerage water is rich in nutrients required for crop growth.
  • The programme helps in creating awareness among the people for optimum utilization of water resources.

Assistance Provided

  • The Projects are implemented on 100% grant basis by the Department.
  • Upon completion the projects are handed over to water user society of farmers in command area for operation.
  • Projects are implemented with funding from various sources like NABARD-RIDF-18, PPCB, GLADA, GMADA, Local Bodies etc

Rainwater Harvesting in Kandi area

Kandi Area comprises of 538100hectares i.e. almost 10% of total area of the state. It stretches from district Mohali to district Pathankot along the border of Himachal Pradesh. It is sub mountainous zone with average rainfall of 1000mm. Agriculture in this area is mainly dependent on rains as it is predominately rainfed area. Socio economic conditions of people are poor because of scattered and small land holdings. Average agriculture yield has been only 700 Kg/Hectare against State’s 4500 Kg/Hectare. Further Kandi area being very undulating and sub mountainous, is traversed by numerous small and big seasonal streams called choes and is prone to flash floods. About 40% of this rain water gets wasted in floods, which causes considerable damages to the crops & village abadies and makes the land in- fertile. These streams/choes criss-crossing the area, also holds in themselves potential to transform this area through harvesting of water. Department has initiated this programme for development of the area and recharging of ground water.

Activitiy under Project

  • Construction of Rainwater Harvesting & recharging structures for storage, irrigation and natural recharge.
  • Renovation of village ponds to increase their water holding capacity and for recharging ground water


These water harvesting structures are multipurpose as besides providing irrigation to command area and augmenting ground water recharge, they have helped in checking erosion, flash floods besides rejuvenating the forest cover in the catchment area. Water harvesting in perennial flows also provides life saving irrigation to farmers of the adjoining area.


The Projects are implemented on 100% grant basis with funding under NABARD-RIDF-17


Programme on Watershed Basis - Intergrated Watershed Management Programme

The Growth of Agriculture in Punjab, from Sixties onwards, has few parallels in the world. Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) implemented by Ministry of Rural Development, DoLR, GOI with the objective to restore the ecological balance by harnessing, conserving and developing degraded natural resources such as soil, forest and water along with overall development of community. This programme is implemented on 60:40 Centre:State sharing basis. IWMP was first introduced in state in year 2009-10 with sanctioning of six projects in the districts of Ropar, Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur which are currently underway. Earlier according to Common Guidelines of Watershed Management only rainfed area could be taken up under the programme but considering the falling water table in Northern states especially Punjab, amendments were made in guidelines and area with over exploited ground water resources can also be taken up under this programme. Till date total of 65 nos of projects are being implemented in the State in districts of Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Mohali, Gurdaspur, Pathankot, SBS Nagar, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Taran Taran, Ludhiana, Patiala and Fazilka. Ground water exploitation in the non kandi area taken up under the programme is very high. The average level of ground water development of the project area ranges from 130% -200% and falls in over exploited category.

Major Works

Rain Water Harvesting and Recharging, Erosion Control, Land levelling, Renovation of ponds, Drainage Line Treatment, Plantation, Retaining Walls and, Farm Production, Livelihood Generation, Self Help Groups.


  • Projects are implemented on 100% grant basis.
  • 67 projects under implementation in 14 districts.
  • Upon completion it shall benefit more than 3 lac hectares.

Other Programmes

  • Conservation and Management of Harike, Rupnagar and Nangal wetlands with funding from Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
  • Project for Restoration and Preservation of Holy Bein in Kapurthala district.
  • Pilot Project for Reclamation of Ravinous and Gullied lands in Gurdaspur district.