• The Ministry of Jal Shakti recently released the report of its first-ever census of water bodies, revealing crucial insights into the country’s water resources.
  • Objective– to develop a national database for all water bodies by collecting information on subject including their size, condition, status of encroachments, use, storage capacity, status of filling up of storage etc.
  • Census was launched in convergence with 6th Minor Irrigation Census under Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Irrigation Census”.
  • Water bodies include 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.
  • Findings
    • 24 lakh water bodies have been enumerated, out of which 97.1% are in rural areas and only 2.9% are in urban areas.
    • West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh are top 3 states with most water bodies.
    • West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district has highest number of waterbodies.
    • States/UTs with least water bodies: Sikkim, Chandigarh, Delhi.
    • Maharashtra leads in water conservation schemes.
    • 78% are man-made water bodies whereas 22% are natural water bodies.
    • 2% are owned by private entities whereas rest are under public ownership.
    • Water User Associations (WUA) has helped in preventing encroachments.
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