The first-ever Census of Water Bodies in India, which was carried out by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, gave information about the distribution and use of water bodies throughout the nation.
West Bengal has 7.47 lakh water bodies, whereas Sikkim has only 134, according to the census, making it the most water-dense state in India. According to the Ministry’s Irrigation Census programme, the census was conducted as part of the 6th Minor Irrigation Census.
First-Ever Waterbody Census Report
According to the census, out of the 24.24 lakh water bodies in the nation, 23.55 lakh, or 97.1 percent, are found in rural regions, while just 69,485 (2.9 percent), or 69,170, are found in urban areas. Ponds make up 59.5 percent of all water bodies, with lakes, tanks, reservoirs, water-conservation plans, percolation tanks, check dams, and other structures coming in second and third.
Additionally, the census revealed that while Tamil Nadu has the most lakes, Andhra Pradesh has the most tanks. Maharashtra became the state that implemented water conservation programmes first.
In addition, 83.7 percent of water bodies are used for household and drinking needs, irrigation, pisciculture, and groundwater replenishment. 44.8 percent of water bodies are held by the government, compared to 55.2 percent which are privately owned.
For the first time, the census gathered data on the encroachment of water bodies and found that 1.6 percent of water bodies are encroached, with 95.4% occurring in rural regions and 4.6 percent occurring in urban areas.
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