Water Resources and Their Utilization in India

Water Resources and Their Utilization in India

» India has 4% of water resources of the world, while it has to support 16% of the world population and 15% of livestock.
» The annual precipitation including snowfall, which is the main source of water in the country, is estimated to be of the order of 4,000 Billion Cubic Metres (BCM).
» The estimated precipitation during the monsoon season (June to September) is of the order of 3,000 BCM.
» The resources potential of the country, which occurs as natural run off in the rivers is about 1869 BCM, considering both surface and ground water as one system.
» Water resources of India can be divided into two parts :
1. Surface Water Resources
2. Underground Water Resources

Surface Water Resources

» According to the estimate, India receives an average of 109 cm of rainfall annually.
» This rainfall amounts to 37,000 million cubic metre. Out of this, 12,500 million cubic metres evaporates and another 7,900 million cubic metres is absorbed by land. Only 16,600 million cubic metres water is available in our rivers.
» Out of this, only 6,600 million cubic metres of water can be used for irrigation.

Underground Water Resources

» Out of total rainfall, only 7,900 million cubic metres of water percolates inside / beneath the earth.
» Out of this, only 4,300 million cubic metres of water is able to reach the upper layer of the soil.
» This water is more important for agricultural production.
» Rest 3600 million cubic metres reaches the impervious rocks which can be used by digging wells or tubewells. Out of this only 2250 million cubic metres of water is economically viable.

Sources of Irrigation in India

There are various sources of irrigation which are :

Wells & Tubewells 46% of total irrigation
Canals 39% of total irrigation
Tanks 8% of total irrigation
Other Sources 7% of total irrigation (Dongs, Kuhls, Springs etc.)