Water Resources


  • Water is one of the most precious natural resources and a key element in the socio-economic development of a country
  • Water is used for drinking, bathing, washing, irrigation, industries and a host of other purposes. Hence, it is an essential part of life
  • About 71% of earth’s surface is covered by water
    • But, water on earth is distributed in such a way that only a small fraction of total water available on the earth is useful for human consumption

India’s Water Resources

  • India accounts for about 2.45% of world’s surface area and 4% of the world’s water resources
  • Rainfall is main source of fresh water in India
  • From precipitation alone(including snowfall), India receives 4000 cubic km of water; of which a large part is lost through process of evaporation and plant transpiratioN
  • However, due to various constraints of topography and uneven distribution of water resource over space and time, there is lesser availability of utilizable water resources
    • The availability from surface water and replenishable groundwater is 1,869 cubic km
    • Out of this only 60% can be put to beneficial uses; Thus, the total utilisable water resource in the country is only 1,122 cubic km.