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Of 9765 water bodies in J&K, over 23 % not in use: First-ever water body census

07:46 PM Apr 25, 2023 IST | Jahangir Sofi
of 9765 water bodies in j k  over 23   not in use  first ever water body census

Reasons for ‘Not in use’ due to Dried Up, Construction, Siltation, Destroyed beyond repair, Salinity, Due to industrial effluents

For the first time, the government of India has conducted the first-ever census of water bodies and after enumeration, it has found 24,24,540 water bodies across India, out of which 97.1% (23,55,055) are in rural areas and only 2.9% (69,485) are in urban areas.


According to a census report, released by the Department of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, reviewed by the, 59.5% of water bodies are ponds, followed by tanks (15.7%), reservoirs (12.1%), Water conservation schemes/percolation tanks/check dams (9.3%), lakes (0.9%) and others (2.5%), while 55.2% of water bodies are owned by private entities whereas 44.8% of water bodies are in the domain of public ownership.

The census has provided a comprehensive inventory of India’s water resources, including natural and human-made water bodies like ponds, tanks, lakes, and more, and to collect data on the encroachment of water bodies.


The top five states as per the census in terms of the number of water bodies are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Assam—which constitute around 63 per cent of the total water bodies in India.


According to the census enumeration report, Jammu and Kashmir has a total of 9765 water bodies, of which 99.2% (9,687) are in rural areas, and the remaining 0.8% (78), are in urban areas.


The census report states that among the 9765 water bodies of J&K, the majority of the water bodies are ponds, numbering 5256, 441 reservoirs, 179 Tanks, 37 Lakes, 28 Water Conservation Schemes/percolation tanks/check dams.


The census report highlights that out of all water bodies in J&K, 7493 water bodies are ‘in use’, of which 7431 are in rural and 62 in urban areas. The water bodies under the defined category comprise of 3220 Ponds, 415 reservoirs,150 Tanks, 31 Lakes, 23 Water Conservation Schemes/percolation tanks/check dams.

Whereas under the ‘not ‘in use’ water bodies, the census report has enumerated 2272 water bodies in J&K, of which 2256 are in rural and 16 in urban areas, comprising majorly of 2036 Ponds. The report has mentioned the reasons for ‘not in use’ due to Dried Up, Construction, Siltation, Destroyed beyond repair, Salinity, Due to industrial effluents.

Under the number of “in use” water bodies by type of use for rural and urban areas of J&K, out of 7493 water bodies, 5986 are used for domestic/drinking, 719 for irrigation, 12 for industrial, 97 for Pisciculture, 19 for Recreation, 56 for Religious, 129 for Groundwater Recharge use.

The census report on J&K’s water bodies further highlighted that most of the human-made water bodies have an original cost of construction up to Rs.50,000/-, out of 9,765 water bodies, the Information on ‘filled-up storage capacity’ and ‘status of filling’ was collected for 5,913 water bodies.

The report as per the census for State-wise distribution of water bodies by ownership, of 9765 water bodies in J&K, under public owned the category, the report has mentioned 1057 water bodies under State WRD/State Irrigation, 231 under Co-operative, 2587 under Panchayat, 19 under Municipal Authority, 1122 under Other Government Agency, whereas under the Private owned category, the report has placed 420 as individual, 2110 as Group of Individuals and 2219 under other private body categories.

For the distribution of water bodies under natural/human–made in J&K, the report has mentioned 3519 under the natural category and 6246 under the human-made water bodies category, of which 3502 are located in rural areas, whereas the remaining 17 are located in urban areas.

The census also noted that out of all the enumerated water bodies— 9765, J&K has encroachment in 103 water bodies, of which 102 are in rural and 01 in urban areas, and in terms of storage capacity 7238 water bodies have storage capacity between 0 to 100 cubic meters.

According to the census report, out of 9,759 water bodies, 9602 of the water bodies have a water spread area of fewer than 0.5 hectares, whereas, 104 water bodies have a water spread area between 0.5 hectares to 1.0 hectares, and the remaining 53 water bodies have more than one-hectare water spread area.

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Jahangir Sofi

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