Gully plugging using check dams

Small dam structures constructed across erosion gullies

Check dams are small low structures built across a gully or a channel to prevent them from deepening further. These small dams reduce the speed of water flow and minimise the erosive power of runoff. They also promote the deposition of eroded materials to further stabilise the gullies.

Two gullies adjacent to a degraded area of communal grazing land were controlled by constructing check dams and with vegetative measures including planting bamboo. The main purpose was to control the further development of the gullies, which were affecting the adjacent grazing land and blocking a downstream irrigation channel. The site is community land used by the 40 households (240 people) of Dhotra village in the intensively used Jhikhu Khola watershed. Irrigated cropland lies downstream from the site, whilst the site itself is bordered by grazing land, degraded sal-dominated forest, and rainfed forward-sloping terraces.

WOCAT database reference: QT NEP14

Location: Dhotra village, Jhikhu Khola

watershed, Kabhrepalanchok, Nepal

Technology area: ~ 0.006 km2

SWC measure: Structural and vegetative

Land use: Grazing land

Climate: Humid subtropical

Related approach: Local initiatives for rehabilitation of degraded communal grazing land, QA NEP13

Compiled by: Nicole Guedel, Switzerland

Date: November 2004, updated June 2006