In cheerful news at the height of summer, the Jal Shakti Ministry's first national water body count has found a total of 97,062 water bodies in Maharashtra, the highest in the country, as per the official report released on Wednesday.
The census, conducted in 2018-2019 counted more than 2.24 million water reservoirs across India, of which 2.35 million (97.1 per cent) were in rural areas and 69,485 (2.9 per cent) in urban centres.
They comprise 59.5 per cent (14,42,993) ponds, tanks 15.7 per cent (381,805), other water bodies 12.1 per cent (292,280), conservation schemes/seepage lakes/dams 9.3 per cent (226,217), ponds 0.9 per cent (22,361), and other types of water storage systems 2.5 per cent (58,884).
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis welcomed the Jal Shakti Ministry's survey report as a success of various schemes implemented here that augur well for the peoples' water needs in the state.
Of the state's total 97,062 reservoirs, 99.3 per cent (96,343) are in rural areas and the remaining 0.7 per cent (719) fall in urban areas and a majority are water conservation schemes.
From the total reservoirs in the state, 99.7 per cent (96,767) are of public ownership type and the rest 0.3 per cent (295) are privately owned.
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Maharashtra's 98.9 per cent (96,033) reservoirs are "currently in use" while the remaining 1.1 per cent (1,029) reservoirs are "currently not in use" and the water from the first category reservoirs is used for groundwater recharge.
Aurangabad, Jalna and Nashik figure among the top five districts in India that utilise the water of the reservoirs in various ways.
Maharashtra has 574 natural and 96,488 man-made reservoirs, the latter costing between Rs 5-10 lakh.
From the natural water bodies, 98.4 per cent (565) come in rural areas and the remaining 1.6 per cent (9) are in urban areas.
Out of the 96,488 man-made reservoirs, 99.3 per cent (95,778) reservoirs are in rural areas while the remaining 0.7 per cent (710)come in urban areas.
The basic cost of construction of most man-made reservoirs is between Rs 5 to 10 lakh.
In Maharashtra, 60.7 per cent (58,887) are covered under District/State Irrigation Schemes, 90.8 per cent (53,449) are of the type of water conservation schemes/seepage ponds/dams while the remaining 9.2 per cent (5,438) comprise tanks, ponds, reservoirs etc.
Of the "in use" reservoirs, 82.5 per cent (79,238) serve one city/town, 17.1 per cent (16,406) quench the water needs of 2-5 cities/towns and the remaining 0.4 per cent (389) benefit more than 5 cities/towns.
Considering the storage capacity, 94.8 per cent (92,026) reservoirs in Maharashtra have a storage capacity in the range of up to 100 cubic meters while 4 per cent (3,885) have a capacity of 100-1,000 cubic meters.
The survey revealed that only 0.26 per cent (251) water bodies are encroached in the state - which is the lowest in India.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)