Limited natural resources are available on the planet under immense pressure due to the ever-increasing population and changing climate. Soil and water are fundamental natural resources for the agricultural production system. Anthropogenic and adverse natural activities are the major factors for the deterioration of natural resources. Among the various degradation processes, soil erosion is one of the serious threats for the deterioration of soil and water resources. In India, about 68.4% of the total land area has been degraded by the water erosion process. Intensive agricultural practices accelerate the soil erosion process. Similarly, increased exploitation of groundwater resulted in depletion of groundwater level. Hence, the holistic management of soil and water resources is indispensable for agricultural sustainability as well as for the protection of the natural ecosystem. Development and adoption of improved technologies, judicious use of natural resources, and effective management practices are the need of the hour for protection of soil and water from degradation. This chapter highlights the status of natural resource degradation, erosion processes and, soil and water conservation strategies for agricultural sustainability and soil health in the long run.
Part of the book: Soil Moisture Importance