The Ministry of Jal Shakti has released the first-ever Census of Water Bodies, which has revealed that West Bengal has the highest number of water bodies in India, while Sikkim has the lowest. This census has been conducted in convergence with the 6th Minor Irrigation Census under the Irrigation Census scheme launched by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
First-ever waterbody census: Key Details:
- West Bengal has the highest number of water bodies in India, with 7.47 lakh water bodies, according to the Census of Water Bodies by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
- Sikkim has the least number of water bodies, with only 134.
- Out of 24.24 lakh water bodies in the country, 97.1 percent or 23.55 lakh are in rural areas, and only 2.9 percent or 69,485 are in urban areas.
- Ponds account for 59.5 percent of the water bodies, followed by tanks (15.7 percent), reservoirs (12.1 percent), water conservation schemes/percolation tanks/check dams (9.3 percent), lakes (0.9 percent), and others (2.5 percent).
- Andhra Pradesh has the highest number of tanks, while Tamil Nadu has the highest number of lakes, as per the census.
- Maharashtra is the leading state in implementing water conservation schemes, according to the census.
- 83.7 percent of water bodies are in use for purposes such as pisciculture, irrigation, groundwater recharge, and domestic/drinking purposes.
- 55.2 percent of water bodies are owned by private entities, while 44.8 percent are in the domain of public ownership.
- The census also collected information on the encroachment of water bodies for the first time, revealing that 1.6 percent of water bodies are encroached, with 95.4 percent in rural areas and 4.6 percent in urban areas.
Check: WBJEE Result 2023