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India’s First Census of Waterbodies



  Jan 23, 2024

India’s First Census of Waterbodies



Q1: What is India’s first census of waterbodies?

A1: India’s first census of waterbodies is a comprehensive survey undertaken by the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti to account for all types of rural and urban waterbodies across the country, including those used for various purposes such as irrigation, industry, and conservation.

Q2: Why is the census of waterbodies significant?

A2: The census is significant because it provides data essential for estimating water potential, planning water conservation schemes, and managing resources effectively.

Q3: What are the concerns raised by experts about the census?

A3: Experts have raised concerns about the methodology, particularly the definitions used for different types of waterbodies, the coverage area of the census, and discrepancies in data, especially regarding waterbody encroachments.

Q4: How many waterbodies does the census report in India?

A4: The census reports that there are 2,424,540 waterbodies in India, with 97 percent located in rural areas.

Q5: What discrepancies have been noted in the census findings?

A5: There are discrepancies such as differing numbers of waterbodies reported by states compared to the census, confusion over whether waterbodies are encroached upon, and whether they are located in urban or rural areas.

Q6: Has the census reported on the encroachment of waterbodies?

A6: The census has reported encroachments, but experts question the accuracy, especially in urban areas where waterbodies are known to have been encroached upon.

Q7: What methodological issues are there in the waterbodies census?

A7: Methodological issues include unclear definitions of ponds and tanks, inconsistent use of nomenclature across different regions, and inadequate consideration of local government and community involvement in water management.

Q8: What does the uneven distribution of waterbodies indicate?

A8: The uneven distribution, with two-thirds of waterbodies concentrated in five states, indicates regional disparities in water resources and potential management challenges.

Q9: What role did local governments play in the census?

A9: Critics argue that local governments, who are critical custodians of water commons, were not adequately involved in the census process, which could affect the accuracy and usefulness of the data.

Q10: How will the census of waterbodies be used?

A10: The census data is intended to assist in planning and implementing water resource management and conservation strategies at national and state levels.

SRIRAM’s


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