The Vetiver System and Its Potential Role In Watershed Protection and Rehabilitation.
“Ridge to Reef” programs in small islands are starting to apply VGT because it fits so well into their watershed needs. At the top end vetiver can be used for land rehab and for on farm soil and water conservation. Better for those who live in the upper watersheds and better for those at the lower end because of diminishing floods, more constant stream flow, and reduced sediment flow in rivers. At the bottom end of the watershed vetiver can be used to strengthen coastal defenses by stabilizing and protecting sea dykes. Throughout the catchment vetiver can be used for on farm soil and water conservation, for stabilizing river and stream banks, protecting roads and help ensure non impeded traffic. It can be used for phyto remedial purposes including vetiver wetlands for village and domestic sewage, it can float on ponds to remove blue green algae, it can protect springs and improve water flows to those springs and wells. It provides important habitat for birds, insects, and other wild creatures. Additionally there are biproducts including the leaves and stems used for handicrafts and thatch. Countries like Madagascar desperately need to apply VGT widely for watershed development and land rehabilitation purposes.
Watersheds in the upper parts of river basins can become the source of major flooding of areas many miles away in the lower parts of the basin, this is particularly so when the upper catchment experiences extreme weather events. Watershed conservation is not only important for hilly areas but also flat areas too as shown in this series of images from (Paul Truong) the Darling Downs in Queensland, Australia. Note this application was applied to black cracking vertisols, and could be applied the many millions of ha of black soils in Asia and Africa.