What is the Difference Between Contour Bunding and Graded Bunding?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The difference between Contour Bunding and Graded Bunding occurs based on soil type, amount of rainfall, etc. Contour Bunding is built along shapes or contour lines. The graded bunds commonly used in India, on the other hand, are similar to the narrow base balconies. Though both are types of land management practice, Contour bunding is a management technique for borderline, slanted, and hilly land where the soil productivity is very low.

Difference between Contour Bunding and Graded Bunding

The major differences between Contour Bunding and Graded Bunding are given in the table below:

Contour Bunding Graded Bunding
Low annual rainfall (< 600 mm) They are used in areas having annual rain greater than 700 mm.
Suitable for permeable soils such as alluvial, red/laterite brown soil, and shallow and medium black soil. Good for impenetrable soil.
It is commonly used on farming land up to 6% slope. Not appropriate on land slopes less than 2% or on slopes greater than 8%.
Found in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Found in hilly areas like Dehradun.

Contour Bunding vs Graded Bunding

Contour Bunding aids in the capture and retention of rainfall before it becomes runoff. Graded bunding creates obstacles across the path to retain water flowing through the watershed and thus help control soil erosion.

  • Contour Bunding entails constructing earthen dams across the slope of the land, as closely as possible following the Contour.
  • The area is divided into strips by a series of bunds, reducing the water runoff velocity.
  • Graded bunds, graded terraces, or channel balconies are laid along a pre-determined longitudinal incline near the Contour but not precisely along the shape.
  • These terraces act as drainage canals to control and conduct runoff at non-erosive velocity.

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