The Catchment of Swan River of Una district of Himachal Pradesh is characterized by fragile and vulnerable Shivalik hills and sparse vegetative cover. The tree cover on private lands was not appropriately managed. State Government is concerned about the conservation of natural resources such as soil erosion, degradation of natural resources such as land, water, livestock and forest resources which forms the integral part of the production base of this hill state. Swan River overflows the banks during monsoons and causes severe soil erosion, land slide, deposition of sand on fertile agriculture and damage to life & properties and hence ancient Sobhadra or Swan River was termed as "Sorrow of Una". Swan is one of the tributary of the River Satluj has catchment area of 1204 Km2 in Una district of the state. Total length of Swan River from Daulatpur (up stream) to Santoshgarh (down stream) is about 55 km and drains into Satluj near Anandpur sahib, district Roopnagar of Panjab.
Keeping in view the gravity of situation and to reverse the trend of degradation in the catchment area, the Swan River Integrated Watershed Management Project has come into being in 2006-07 with the financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Himachal Forest Department is the nodal agency of this Project. Besides that, Department of Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry of the State are the participating Departments in the Project.
Project cost and duration at the inception of Project was Rs 160 crores and 8 years (2006-07 to 2013-14), respectively. Now, following the process of micro-planning and as per the recommendation of MTR &E and JICA's Joint Review Mission the cost and duration has been revised to the tune of Rs. 227.31 Crores and 10 years (2006-07 to 2015-16), respectively. Participatory micro-planning processes are followed in letter & spirits in planning at grass-root level (ward level) and consolidation and approval of Panchahayt Development Plans (micro-plans) at Panchayat level and subsequently the implementation of watershed management activities from top to bottom in the drainage lines. 96 Gram Panchayats of the district falling in the catchment of Swan River has selected for the treatment. Involvement of PRIs and local communities has been ensured in the planning and execution for which Panchayat level Institutions called Panchayat Development Committees (PDCs), which a registered body under Society Registration Act has been formed in all the selected Gram Panchayats of the Project. For the better planning & implementation of the Project, H.P. Forest Department has established a Project Management Unit (PMU) at Una which is headed by the CCF-Cum-Project Director. In order to facilitate the implementation three Project Implementation Units (PIU) at Una, Amb and Gagret,which are headed by Deputy Directors (HPFS).