A dry, barren, often sand covered area of land is waterless and without vegetation cover. The common features of such land are; low precipitation, high temperature, high evaporation, low humidity, poor rain water efficiency, water percolation and low productivity. These lands are called Barani and arid lands but still are not considered wastelands as these can be used for cultivation and crop production through soil and water conservation activities.
The Services of soil & water conservation are provided by the Directorate of Soil Conservation, Rawalpindi in the Barani and hill torrent areas of the Punjab. Some of the works being undertaken for soil and water conservation purpose are; construction of mini dams, water storage tanks, construction of water outlet structures, retaining walls, land reclamation through gully plugging, stream bank training and moisture conservation practices such as terrace forming & deep ploughing. Soil and water conservation services to the farmers for agricultural purpose are provided through District Officers Soil Conservation on subsidized rates. The main tasks of Soil & Water Conservation are listed below;
- To contain soil erosion process in the cultivable area and the adjoining uncultivated lands and to save these areas from further degradation.
- To make maximum use of run-off water by conserving it into the field by various moisture conservation measures.
- To bring more area under cultivation through reclamation and gully control techniques.
- Exploitation of water resource through various means of providing assured water supply for irrigation purposes (mini dams and ponds)