Environment & Biodiversity

India’s First Waterbodies Census

The report of India’s first waterbodies census was just released by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.

Census of Waterbodies

  • It is the first time a comprehensive study of all waterbodies in a certain region or country has been conducted.
  • The census tries to locate and classify various forms of waterbodies such as ponds, tanks, lakes, and reservoirs.
  • The data can aid in the formulation of conservation and management strategies.

The definition of waterbodies is a major highlight

  • A waterbody is defined by the census as a unit that is delimited on all sides and is used to store water for various reasons.
  • These structures can be natural or man-made, and they may or may not contain masonry work.
  • Irrigation, industrial use, pisciculture, home and drinking water supply, recreation, religious uses, and groundwater recharge are all examples of how waterbodies are used.
  • According to the report, a waterbody is any building that collects water from glacier melt, streams, springs, rain, or drainage of water from residential or other areas, or stores water through diversion from a stream, nala, or river.

Waterbodies Distribution by State

  • According to the survey, West Bengal has the most number of ponds and reservoirs, while Andhra Pradesh has the greatest number of tanks.
  • Tamil Nadu has the most lakes, and Maharashtra is the state with the most water conservation initiatives.
  • South 24 Parganas district in West Bengal has been named the district with the most waterbodies (3.55 lakh) in the country.

The following issues have been highlighted: Waterbodies are being encroached upon.

  • A total of 1.6% of waterbodies were reported to be encroached upon.
  • Rural areas had 4% of encroached waterbodies, whereas urban areas had 4.6%.
  • Less than 25% Most encroached waterbodies have less than 25% encroachment.
  • More than 75% of waterbodies have more than 75% encroachment.

@the end

  • The census provides a detailed picture of waterbodies distribution in India, highlighting the states and districts with the most waterbodies.
  • Data on waterbody encroachment can aid in identifying places where conservation measures are needed to conserve these vital resources.
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