Over 94% of water bodies in Nagaland are privately owned

*Out 1432  water bodies                                                        Source: ‘First Census of Water Bodies- Volume- I&II,’ Ministry Of Jal Shakti, Government of India, 2023.

*Out 1432 water bodies Source: ‘First Census of Water Bodies- Volume- I&II,’ Ministry Of Jal Shakti, Government of India, 2023.

Union Jal Shakti Ministry releases first ever Census on Water Bodies in India

Morung Express News
Dimapur | April 25

There are 1,432 water bodies in Nagaland, out of which 1,287 (89.87%) are in rural areas and the remaining 145 (10.13%) are in urban areas and over 94% of those are privately-owned, informed the first Census of Water Bodies in India.

 The census provides a comprehensive inventory of India's water resources, including natural and ‘man-made’ water bodies like ponds, tanks, lakes, and more, and to collect data on the encroachment of water bodies, the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti stated in an official release on April 23.

The total for Nagaland comprised of 688 natural and 744 ‘man-made’ water bodies.

Out of 688 natural water bodies, 90.55% (623) were located in rural areas and the remaining 9.45% (65) were located in urban areas, the census informed. In the case of 744 ‘man-made ’water bodies, 89.25% (664) were located in rural areas and the remaining 10.75% (80) were in urban areas. 

Majority of the water bodies in Nagaland were in the form of ponds-1298 (90.64%), while the rest were tanks- 72 (5.03%), lakes-12 (0.84%) and those under water conservation schemes etc-50 (3.49%).

Apart from the rural-urban location of water bodies, the census also gave a crucial insight into the pattern of ownership of water resources in Nagaland and revealed a clear dominance of private entities.

Out of 1,432 water bodies, a total of 1,348 or 94.13% were privately owned while just 84 (5.87%) were under public ownership. 

Out of all the privately owned water bodies, a major chunk - 1021 (75.74%) were in the hands of individual farmers in Nagaland, while the rest were in the hands of group of individuals (11.80%) and other private bodies. 

Meanwhile, a total of 96.37% (1,380) water bodies were "in use" whereas rest 3.63% (52) were "not in use" on account of drying up, siltation and other reasons in Nagaland.

Majority of 'in use' water bodies are used for pisciculture (84.49%) such as fisheries, followed by irrigation and domestic/ drinking purpose, the census highlighted.

Out of 1,432 water bodies, the information on 'filled up storage capacity' and 'status of filling' were also collected for 1,382 water bodiesduring reference year 2017-18.

Based on the criteria of filling up of storage capacity during last 5 years, out of 1,382 water bodies, 26.56% (367) were found to be filled up every year; 43.05% (595) usually fill up, 25.62% (354) rarely fill up and 4.77% (66) never filled up, the census report added. 

24,24,540 water bodies in India
Meanwhile, as per the Jal Ministry’s release, the census was launched under the centrally sponsored scheme, “Irrigation Census” in convergence with the 6th Minor Irrigation Census in order to have a comprehensive national database of all water bodies. 

Among others, it revealed that a total of 24,24,540 water bodies were enumerated in the country, out of which 97.1% (23,55,055) were in rural areas and only 2.9% (69,485) in urban areas.

Out of the total, 59.5% of water bodies were 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%).

In a quite departure for Nagaland, the census reported that 55.2% of water bodies are owned by private entities nationally while 44.8% are in the domain of public ownership.

The top five States in terms of number of water bodies as per the census were West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Assam, constituting around 63% of the total water bodies in the country.

In addition, 78% water bodies enumerated were ‘man-made’ and 22% werenatural while 1.6% (38,496) of all the enumerated water bodies are reported to be encroached.

What are water bodies?

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 (such as industrial, pisciculture, domestic/drinking, recreation, religious, ground water recharge etc.) will be treated as water bodies in this Census. These are usually of various types known by different names like tank, reservoirs, ponds and bundhies etc. A structure where water from ice-melt, streams, springs, rain or drainage of water from residential or other areas is accumulated or water is stored by diversion from a stream, nala or river will also be treated as water body.

(First Census of Water bodies- Volume- I, Ministry Of Jal Shakti, Government of India)