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Odisha Water Gets 5th Place

Bhubaneswar: Odisha, which is a very-rich with natural resources, has found places in top 5 positions in the first-ever Census of water bodies conducted by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.

The Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (DoWR, RD & GR) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti has conducted the Census in convergence with the 6th Minor Irrigation Census in order to have a comprehensive national database of all water bodies.

As per the report, the top five States in terms of number of water bodies are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Assam which constitute around 63% of the total water bodies in the country.

In terms of ponds, Odisha has remained at No 4 at all India level while the State is at third position when water tanks are counted. Odisha has remained at fifth position in census of lakes and fourth position in reservoirs, the report says.

In the first Census of water bodies, 1,81,837 water bodies have been enumerated in the State of Odisha, out of which 97.9% (1,78,054) are in rural areas and the remaining 2.1% (3,783) are in urban areas.

Similarly, 50.9% (92,575) water bodies are privately owned whereas the remaining 49.1% (89,262) are under public ownership.

By location, 31.3% (56,900) water bodies are located in tribal areas and the remaining 68.7% (1,24,937) are located in areas under Drought Prone Area Program, flood prone areas, Naxal-affected areas and other areas.

The Census also found that 89.2% (1,62,207) water bodies are in use whereas the rest 10.8% (19,630) are not in use on account of drying up, siltation, salinity, destroyed beyond repair and other reasons. Out of ‘in use’ water bodies, a major proportion of water bodies are used in pisciculture followed by irrigation.

There are a total of 7,109 natural and 1,74,728 man-made water bodies in the State. Out of 7,109 natural water bodies, 97.3% (6,915) are located in rural areas whereas the remaining 2.7% (194) are located in urban areas.

Out of 1,74,728 man-made water bodies, 97.9% (1,71,139) water bodies are located in rural areas and the remaining 2.1% (3,589) are located in urban areas. Most of the man-made water bodies have original cost of construction upto Rs. 50,000.

During the Census, out of 1,81,837 water bodies, the information on ‘filled up storage capacity’ and ‘status of filling’ was collected for 1,76,881 water bodies, of which 46.0% (81,350) water bodies had fully filled up storage capacity, 42.0% (74,362) water bodies had storage capacity filled upto three fourth level, 8.7% (15,400) water bodies had storage capacity filled upto half level, 1.7% (3,081) water bodies had storage capacity filled upto one fourth level whereas 1.6% (2,688) had nil/negligible storage capacity.

Based on the criteria of filling up of storage capacity during last five years, out of 1,76,881 water bodies, 48.1% (85,008) water bodies are found to be filled up every year, 43.8% (77,547) are usually filled up, 6.5% (11,497) are rarely filled up and 1.6% (2,829) are never filled up, said the Census Report.

In terms of storage capacity, 51.5% (93,706) water bodies have storage capacity between 1,000 to 10,000 cubic meters whereas 23.8% (43,268) have storage capacity more than 10,000 cubic meters.

The Census said that only 3% (5,445) of the water bodies in Odisha are covered in the District Irrigation Plan/State Irrigation Plan. Among these, 44.9% (2,444) are tanks, 39.1% (2,129) are ponds and the remaining 16.0% (872) are lakes, reservoirs, water conservation schemes/percolation tanks/check dams etc.