Runoff variation due to landuse change in small watersheds of Western Ghats

Western Ghats form the catchment of all the 44 rivers that sustain the agroeconomy of Kerala. A study was conducted to assess the effect of land use on runoff from small watersheds of Western Ghats. Three small mono-culture watersheds, planted with cashew, coffee, tea and one small watershed with dense forest were selected for the study. Analysis of the rainfall and runoff data indicated that nearly 50% of the total rainfall leaves from the mono-culture watershed as runoff, whereas the runoff from dense forested watershed is only about 30% of the rainfall.