Biology Environmental Science

The Position of Surface Water in India

In this article we will discuss The Position of Surface Water in India

The Position of Surface Water in India

India has been bestowed with substantial surface water resources. Overall water
resources of the country have been assessed at 1880 km³ annually. Of thus, it may be
possible to harness about 690 km³ of water for beneficial use. In addition, Ground Water Resources of the Country are assessed about 452 km³.


India has constructed a large number of storages and diversions for harness its vast
ware potential.
(1) Live storages built-up in the completed projects so far is about 163 km³.
(2) Another 7 km³ of live storage will be available from project under construction.
(3) 131 km³ from projects under consideration.
(4) In addition, there is a large number of small tanks whose storage adds upto about
30 km³.

Total Hydro-Power Potential of the Country has been assessed at 84,000 mW at 60 per
cent load factor. Presently, Completed and on-going Schemes will exploit about 15,600 mW i.e. 20 per cent of the assesses potential. Hydropower installed capacity at the end of the Sixth Plan was 14,450 mW. Forming about 34 per cent of the total installed capacity. In the absence of information on actual water use by various sectors, estimates made in this regard (1985) indicated that water use may be of the order of 530 km³ is from surface Water and 180 km³ from Ground Water. Out of this, 470 km³ is for Irrigation and 70 km³ for other including Domestic (16.7 km³), Industrial (10 km³) and Thermal Plants (2.7 km³) requirements. A recent assessment puts domestic requirements in 1991 at about 26 km³.

Basin-wise Water Resources Development for 12 Major River Basins is given in the
following table:

The surface water resources continue to the contaminated with run-off water from
agricultural fields, containing pesticides, fertilisers, soil particles, waste chemicals from industrial and sewage from cities and rural areas. During the dry months, water scarcity is faced even in the places like Cherrapunji and Konkan, which receive heavy rainfall. Due to the unequal distribution of rainfall our countrymen face problems of flood and famine in some parts every year.

The mass balance of annual rainfall that about 70% is lost by direct evaporation and
transpiration by plants, while the remaining 30% goes into the streamflow shows it. The
approximate breakup of this streamflow, as consumed by man, is 18% for irrigation, 2% for domestic use, 4% for industrial and 12% for electrical utilities. Irrigation for agricultural purposes and electric power plants are the major consumer of water.

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