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  • 27 April, 2023

  • 3 Min Read

First Waterbodies Census

  • The Ministry of Jal Shakti has published the results of the nation's first-ever water body census, providing important new information about the water resources of the nation.
  • The census offers a thorough inventory of the country's water resources, showing differences between rural and urban areas as well as different degrees of invasion.

What does the Census of Waterbodies mean?

  • In conjunction with the 6th Minor Irrigation Census for 2017–18, the waterbodies census was carried out.
  • The definition of a waterbody under this definition is "all-natural or man-made units bounded on all sides with some or no masonry work used for storing water for irrigation or other purposes."
  • An inventory of India's water resources, including both natural and artificial water bodies including ponds, tanks, lakes, and more, was to be provided by the census, along with information on the encroachment of water bodies.

Important Census Findings:

  • 24,24,540 water bodies were counted nationwide as part of the census, with West Bengal having the most (7.47 lakh) and Sikkim having the fewest (134).

According to the report

  • The most ponds and reservoirs are in West Bengal.
  • South 24 Parganas in West Bengal is the district with the most waterbodies.
  • Most tanks are located in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Most lakes are found in Tamil Nadu.
  • Maharashtra is at the forefront of water conservation efforts.
  • The paper notes that only 2.9% of the waterbodies are in urban areas, with 97.1% of them being in rural areas.
  • Ponds make up the majority of the water bodies, followed by lakes, reservoirs, percolation tanks, water conservation programs, tanks, and other structures.


  • The census also gathered information on the encroachment of waterbodies for the first time, revealing that 1.6% of all listed waterbodies are infringed upon, with 95.4% of encroachments occurring in rural areas and the remaining 4.6% occurring in urban areas.
  • More than 75% of the area of the waterbody is significantly encroached upon.


  • Important information from the census will help decision-makers manage and conserve water resources in the best possible way.
  • The inequalities between rural and urban areas are brought to light, as well as the necessity of strong invasion prevention measures.
  • The census data can be used as a starting point for evaluations of India's water resources in the future, allowing for the tracking of adjustments and advancements in the direction of sustainable water management.

Source: Indian Express

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