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CHAPTER III

WATER RESOURCES

3.1 INTRODUCTION

The development and management of the water resources of a region has to


evolve together with that of land and biomass giving due weightage to the specific
socioeconomic and environmental features. As far as Kerala is concerned, the aquatic
environment of this humid tropics has given shape to its economic, social and
environmental features.

From the point of view of water resources, Kerala is having both ablmdance
and scarcity. The average annual rainfall of the State is 3000mm. However, the spatial
and temporal distribution pattern is mainly responsible for the frequent floods and
droughts in Kerala. The average annual rainfall in the lowland of Kerala ranges from
900 mm in the south to 3500 mm in the north. In the midland, annual rainfall ranges
from 1400 mm in the south to 4000 mm in the north. In the highlands, annual rainfall
varies from 2500 mm in the south to about 6000 mm in the north. About 60% of the
annual rainfall in the State is received during the South -West monsoon (June -
August), 25% during North - East monsoon (September - November) and the
remaining during the summer months (Fig. 3.1). Though it has forty four rivers, most
of these monsoon-fed, short rivers dry up during summer (Fig. 3.2). Fourty one rivers
originate from the Western Ghats, flow towards the west and join the Lakshadweep
Sea, while the other three originate from the Western Ghats within Kerala State and
join the Bay of Bengal. In this state with maximum open wells per square kilometer,
35
STATE OF ENVIRONMENT REPORT, KERALA 2005

WATER ATLAS PLA TE 7

77"'A'

...'00
\,,~I10 ••
eo
.
"~9b.
20
T
~ 40
KARNATAKA SCALE
12

TAMIL NADU

I"
ef

10· 10"

LEGEND
lsohyet 'n mm 1.200

Imyel inlltMl 200mm

0' O'

7!dn' 76···· ..
SOURCE: Water Atlas of Kerala. 1995

Fig. 3.1: ISOHYETAL MAP OF KERALA

36
WATER RESOURCES

WATER ATLAS PLA TE 3

SCALE
••• 10 0 III 40 III 10 mlCJo
~ I ' , , .
1
0'

,MY'"
'-i .~, •••

.!) •••••••••••
(,!) •••••••

~ ..._.U
I') ._ ••••

® -8e·.'•••.--•••._.-....,...~....."..'...
e8"-
.I()~
jj)
@!
@
w .••••

e.•.......
•...•..
ii~....
,@ft(r.!l~e
f,
.r<'"
iJ'
_u
'In,,,
•••••••
••••••••••
..,

''''~IIf_
....
•.••.•.•••••..
,....
....••. "..
u••
..•••••.••••
••••••
w,"""""'."
•••••
••
•••••••••,,,,
~n
••••
if!)
•• .,

-_ J'" •••
••
•••••
1
"j! ••••••
® ~-,,-
8 ~ ....
'~ -
TAMIL NADU
11
0'

O'


Ci

LEGEND

Riven; and Sl1fiams


Basi"6Oundary
RiverCOd<! Number
District HeIldqUfi'lers ••

SOURCE: Water Atlas of Kerala, 1995

Fig. 3.2: DRAINAGE MAP OF KERALA


37
STATE OF ENVIRONMENT REPORT, KEI\ALA 2005

several wells do not yield water during summer months. The salinity propagates not
only into the lower reaches of the rivers, but also into the grOlmdwater aquifers of the
thickly populated coastal belt. The estuaries near the industrial areas and thickly
populated towns and cities are facing pollution problems, which becomes all the more
severe by the reduction in summer flows due to various reasons.

The different phases of the hydrologic cycle of this fragile region is altered by
deforestation, water resources development, construction of roads, building and
establishment of large-scale settlements, reclamation of wetlands etc. In order to
manage the water resources of Kerala in a scientific marmer, it is essential to have
certain strategies to manage land, water and biomass in an integrated marmer.
3.2 DRIVING FORCE

3.2.1 Demand - Supply Situation in Various Sectors

Though endowed with plenty of water resources, Kerala experiences severe


scarcity of water. This is because of the fact that Kerala has one of the lowest per
capita fresh water availability in India. Compared to the national average, unit land
of Kerala receives 2.5 times more rainfall, but the same unit land has to support 3.6
times more population. This makes the per capita availability of fresh water less than
the national average. The fresh water availability in India and Kerala for the last 100
years is given in Table 3.1.

3.2.2 Drinking Water Scenario

Though the proportion of population in the state with access to protected


water supply has been increasing, still a substantial portion remains to be covered.
The National Water Policy of 1992clearly states that all existing and future reservoirs
- both irrigation and hydel- should have drinking water supply component. In addition
to Aruvikkara and Peppara reservoirs, which were built for water supply alone, only
Malampuzha and Peeclli have drinking water component. As far as urban water
supply is concerned, there are 54 schemes in operation in the state covering 60.23

38
WATER RESOURCES

Table 3.1: Fresh Water Availability in India and Kerala


RAIN
WATER
SURFACE
KERALA
SURFACE
GROUND
10685
9450RAIN
GROUND
4484
0.71
2429
6399
1467
10762
15600
3.36
68.50
2.95
2.54
1280
100.0
672
590
877
996
2032
2612
1022
1422
1672
42404
40911
35551
29609
38328
49609
44718
40705
33421
28863
3095
2790
2539
23.83
3674
3482
25.20
27.88
26.12
3136
,4416
31.85
2752
36.09
1801
0.64
0.95
0.78
1.10
4957
5617
7508
7100
6843
2085
3814
6556
5909
5379
24341
19500
18786
54.80
1172
1600
1.69
1997
3265
40752
3108
1969
125000
12143
88.00
780
1789
3553
1.35
23518
14906
43.90
2.13
930
2482 WATER KERALA WATERINDIA
POPULA nON PERCAPITA AVAILABILITY, litres/day
CRORES

Source: Basak.P;1998

lakh populations in 2000.5tilt there are over a dozen corporation/ municipalities/


townships in the state with water supply levels below 70 lpcd. It is estimated that, in
the year 2005 the water requirement will be at 645 million litres / day and in the year
2010, it will be 697 million litres / day. At present, there exists a vast gap between
demand and supply as given in Table 3.2.

In the case of rural water supply, 1609 problem villages were partially covered
by the end of 2001, benefiting a population of 118.4 lakhs. There were 1851 rural
water supply schemes under implementation in the state and 177 schemes including
extensions were completed during 2000 - 01. Still, the estimates show that 17.2% of
the villages in Kerala do not get any benefit of protected water supply and 69% is
only partially covered. In partially covered areas, 14% gets only less than 10 litres per
day 55%gets less than 20 litres per day. District wise details of problem villages covered
I.
and population benefited as on 31. 12.2001 is given in Table 3.3.
39
STATE OF ENVIRONMENT REPORT, KERALA 2005

Table 3.2: Gap between Demand and Supply in Drinking Water


Paravoor
Vaikkom
Thiruvalla
Pala
Aluva
Adoor
Punalur 80
150
22500
22453
43
11
120105
107
32271
20
50
115120
140
28120
44
45
90
6
125
200
60
140..
41254
120
44737
70
57444
125
39732
100
Perumbavur45000
59250
Nameof
LPCD
170
544006
32500
Pathanamthitla
Kollam
Varkala 150
(2)560
20
140
70
135
85000
60258
35
78
129
62640
26396
28770
75000
40
148942
(7)
(6)
(5)
(4)62
96
40400
134
50 2000
Demand
654923
47000
33229
95
39134
54375
130
15
13975 1991
(3) as63155
27906
22775
52445
34252
21890
21788
54780
54000
26639
37185
46279
24667
51078
Census
564589
29662
40655
524006
30419
139852
35882
49875
38987
32634
35535 norms LPCD
51 Thiruvanthapuarm
Attingal
Changa
Kotlayam
North
Angamalinassery
paravur
Kalamassery
per
Supply
Thrippunithura
Kothamangalam
Muvattupuzha
Kochi
Nedumangad Gap
Corporation
Corporation/
Thodupuzha 2000
Population
Population
Neyyatinkara 2000

40
WATER RESOURCES

Palakkad
Mattannur
Kannur
Tirur
Chittur
Kozhikod
Chavakkad
Manjeri 4258635
4050.07
6952.5
..
2902.43
123784
150
140
110
135
68120
22622
48365
20
103
135
67
8072
99.13
70
140
67
61 7.1
45
58
42149
25.87
47
76
28.23
64
Kl1nnamkl1klam
Thrissur
Vadakara
Shornur
Ponnani 21996
105
140
139583
34547
36283
110
30
43.7
80980
253
110
453417
42286
Chalakkudi
137.5
152
Perinthalmanna
125
44504
(2) 80 (3)
81.8
84023
53
66.3
173
43700
51000
53667
58275
27119
50466
30788
125
34898
55680
75670
45
59
38
15
76813
66978
(7)
Thalassery 83
90
118
135
110
81
20
80
87
58727
125
30
74881
(5)
(4)
(6)
Kodl1ngalloor
Kuthl1paramba
Guruvayur
Malappuram
Payyannur
lrinjalakkuda
Thaliparamba
Kanjangad
Kasaragod
Kalpetta
Ottappalam 67
55
789 3777786
40470
65233
64011
69334
28908
20216
74604
419831
51754
45000
49450
103577
123289
19657
32048
72434
37789
49692
22945
45059
27489
31159
39500
39027
57165
50123
37087
(1)
51

Source: Planning and Economic AffairsDepartment/2001

41
STATE OF ENVIRONMENT REPORT, KERALA 2005

Table 3.3: District wise details of problem villages covered and population
-
Emakulam
Palakkad
Kozhikod
Kannur
Pathanamthitta
District
Thrissur
ldukki
Kollam
Kasargod
Kottayam
Alappuzha 1203076
418205
581039
470881
712432
802713
1282009
442283
1456654
1022225
1360237
516403
993258
587013
benefi ted
11848428
SI.No Thiruvanathapuram
Malappuram
Wayanad Population 77
95
79
119
247
183
99
68
142
70
100
146
83
101
1609
Partially Covered

Source: l'l.llming and Economic Affairs Department, 2001.

3.2.3 Irrigation Sector

In Kerala, monsoon flows contribute to almost 90% of the annual yield, leaving
only about 10%during lean flow period. Only large storage can fill the gap. The storage
capacity of major / medium irrigation projects of Kerala, (Table 3.4 and 3.5) is about
1500MCM. (Fig.3.3) During the past two decades, this figure has been almost constant.
It is estimated that various completed irrigation projects in Kerala together can irrigate
a net area of 1,94,783Ha of land and the ongoing projects when completed can irrigate
a net area of 2,47,834 Ha. Net area irrigated from all sources of irrigation works out to
be 3,81,041 Ha during 2000 - 2001 (Table 3.6). But the net cultivated area in the state
during this period was 22,58,700 Ha which clearly indicates that only 16.87% of the
42
WATER RESOURCES

Table 3.4: Completed irrigation projects


51. Pamba
Vazhani
Peechi
Gross
Pothundi
Name
29950
34710
23718
26000
23470
27258
1846
48480
4226
40208
78325
6608
6505
10114
10046
Chimmony
Walayar
Gayathri
Chittur ofpuzha
Kuttiyadi
Neyyar
Periyar
Chalakkudy
Cheerakkuzhy
Malampuzha
Mangalam
The Valley
project Mupli Pa thanam thi tta
Thrissur
Palakkad
Ernakulam
Kozhikod
District
Net
21135
32800
3639
3844
5466
2113
21732
15700
14570
15380
19696
1619
18623
13000
Thiruvananthapuram Ayacut in Ha

Source: Farm Cuide,2003

net cultivated area is under irrigation. Balance area of existing wetland to be irrigated
is about 2.5lakh Ha and that of garden land is about Slakh Ha.

3.2.4 HYDEL POWER GENERA nON

The production of electricity in Kerala falls far short of the actual demand. As
per the 14th National Power Survey, the estimated demand and availability of
electricity in Kerala is given in Table 3.7.

43
STATE OF ENVIRONMENT REPORT, KERALA 2005

Table 3.5: Ongoing irrigation projects


- -Net
51. Pazhzssi
Kallada
Meenachil
Thri
Kakkadavu
Name Gross
Thanneermukkom
thala
of
VamanapuramBCR
23470
3997
41760
92800
21835
8378
9659
4800
9300
16436
108035
Chamravattom
34737
43190
23050
14510
Muvattupuzha
The project
Banasurasagar
Karappuzha
Kanjirappuzha
Kuriyarkutty
Attappadi
Edamalayar
Chaliyar valley 9950
11525
(BCR)
61630
9713
4347
3106
2800
4650
8057
11736
1303
73240
13980
17737
14060
- Karappara Ernakulam
Kollam
Palakkad
District
Kannur
Wayanad
Thiruvanantha
Alappuzha
Kasaragod
Kottayam
Malappuram puram Expected Ayacut in I-Ia

Source: Farm Guide,2003

Since hydel power being the cheapest, it is best suited and affordable for a state
like Kerala. It is evident that hydel power constitutes only 34% of the available
electricity. TI1einstalled capacity as on December 1999 is given in Table 3.8.

3.3 PRESSURE

The demand for water in Kerala is mainly for domestic use, industrial use,

44
WATER RESOURCES

If.
K} RAI .A
MAJOR/MF;DIl,M IRRIGA1'lOl' PROJELTS
\NO THEIR (;OM.MA~O AREAS
:;CAlL
~'O 01)' .0 ~ 10 10 tC)Ch
••
~.--=--~ ~ ......-
J I,
0'

LEOEID

STATE 10UIDAII.V

IIW\.TEII. 10 Dlee ••
I'II.OJECTCOUI'LETED •

Figure 3.3: Major/Medium Irrigation Projects and their Command Areas


45
STATE OF ENVIRONMENT REPORT, KEI\ALA 20()S

Table 3.6: Net irrigated area (source wise) 2000 - 2001 (Area in Hectares)
21244
112
13424
2470
305
1495
295
923
127
594
190
564
12377
739
39
223
11533-OfiIER
-281 -65
-6379
SOURCES-712
TA:'\KS
CANAL
WELLS
TOTAL --3-7-69 GOVERN-
LIFT - PRIVATE
IRRIGA-
TA~'KS
WELLS
2717
2
11913
11051
2048546
11839
14784
8164
1386
39962
4179
5456
2099
3021
1500
1593
43
8352
21111
3267
1310
82033
15630
85681
6073
15415
6313
4372
2691
40392
704
10896
757
544
9671
701
135
2558
441
179
115031
47979
381041
356
29721
32360
DISTRICT MEJ'T
MEJ'T
114
163
90
205
161
158
78
98
1122
3076
400
21
6
955
528
102842
1993
498 1
4041
887557
1672
13507
43935 5
3 MINOR
48869
6017
2123
1730
862
1741
31
19135
4762
653
599
822
100926
13582 GOVERN-
GOVERN-
PRIVATE
PRIVATE
TION
Kollam

Source: Farm Guide,2003

Table 3.7: Demand Availability of Electricity in Kerala


YEAR 7326
15040
12861
26011
8771
DEMAND
18654
16264
18816
10691
13908
A17450
11000
11393
12268
9274
12390
20194
6798 MuW MW
VAILABILITY

SOllce: Official website of KSEB

46
WATER RESOURCES

Table 3.8: Hydroelectric schemes Installed capacity (1999)


Generation
6565.5
38
6.4
493
36
65
2398
262
158
11.5
1338
380
237
233
5.6
268
182
170
284
Capacity In MW InMW
2
50
30
3
300
780
15
16
12
180
1757
32
75
37.5
48
45
54
2.5
Installed Capacity

Souce: Official website of KSEB

irrigation, prevention of salt-water intrusion, generation of electricity, inland


navigation and other sectors like inland fisheries, water sports and tourism.
3.3.1 Domestic Water Demand

Protected water supply is one of the basic needs of the community. Based on
a per capita consumption of 160 lpcd and a projected population of 5.53 cores in the
year 2021, the annual domestic requirement has been estimated at 3230 Mm3
(Table 3.9).

47
STATE OF ENVIRONMENT REPORT, KERALA 2005

Table 3.9: Basin wise demand in domestic sector in the year 2021

BASIN WATER DEMAND (Mm3)

Manjeswar - Uppala 13.6


Shiriya 14.9
Mogral- Chandragiri 32.9
Chi ttari 14.5
Nileswar - Kariangod 36
Kavvayi - Peruvamba - Ramapuram 27.1
Kuppam 43.9
Valapattanam 82.4
Anjarakkand y 32.5
Tellicherry 15.2
Mahe 24.9
Kuttiyadi 58.8
Korappuzha - Kallai - Chaliyar - Kadalundi 631
Tirur 28.2
Bharathapuzha 338
Keecheri - Puzhakkal 61.75
Karuvannur 127
Chalakkudy 97.6
Periyar 260
Muvattupuzha 227
Meenachil 166
Manirnala 85.6
Pamba 185
Achenkoil 38
Pallikkal- Kallada 244.5
Ithikkara 103.5
Ayroor - Vamanapuram - Mamom 169.9
Karamana 106.8
Neyyar 941
Kabbini 62.5
Bhavani 5.80
Pambar 1.94

Source: CWRDM (1995) Water Atlas of Kerala.

48
WATER RESOURCES

3.3.2 Industrial Water Demand

The projected water requirement in the year 2021 in the industrial sector has
been estimated at 4270 Mm3 (Table 3.10).

Table 3.10: Basin wise demand in the industrial sector in the year 2021
BASIN WATER DEMAND (Mm3)
Manjeswar - Uppala 45
Shiriya 45
Mogral- Chandragiri 45
Chi ttari 45
Nileswar - Kariangod 45
Kavvayi - Peruvamba - Ramapuram 45
Kuppam 90
Valapattanam 45
Anjarakkandy 45
Tellicherry 45
Mahe 45
Kuttiyadi 450

Korappuzha - Kallai - Chaliyar - Kadalundi 45


Tirur 450

Bharathapuzha 45
Keecheri - Puzhakkal 90
Karuvannur 90
Chalakkud y 450

Periyar 400

Muvattupuzha 90
Meenachil 90
Manimala 400
Pamba 45
Achenkoil 400
Pallikkal- Kallada 45
Ithikkara 45
Ayroor - Vamanapuram - Mamom 45
Karamana 45
Neyyar 400
Kabbini 45
Bhavani 20
Pambar 45

Source: CWRDM (1995) Willer AtlilS of Kerillil.

49
STATE OF ENVIRONMENT REPOln, KERALA 2005

3.3.3 Water Demand for Irrigation

The ten completed major / medium projects (6 in Bharathapuzha alone) cater


to nearly O.771akhha (net) of paddy. Another dozen of partially commissioned projects
presently irrigate about 0.791akh ha, but has a full potential of 2.13lakh ha, bringing
the total to about 2.9lakh ha. The other sources like lift, tanks, ponds, wells etc. irrigate
about 1.62lakh ha. All the major, medium and minor irrigation projects put together
will cater to nearly 4.5lakh ha.ln the private sector alone, nearly 2lakh ha are irrigated
from different sources for various crops. The projected water requirement for irrigation
by the year 2021 is about 2890 Mm3 (Table 3.11). This is based on future requirement
for paddy as well as for 50% of the future garden land crops

3.3.4 Generation of Hydel Power

A major portion of the electric power being used in Kerala is generated within
the state through hydroelectric stations. The ultimate power potential of the state
from hydroelectric schemes has been estimated at about 1560MW at 100% load factor.
The total identified hydroelectric power potential of Kerala, including that of the
completed small / medium / major projects, is around 5000MW . The live storage
capacity of the reservoirs of the hydroelectric projects owned by Kerala State Electricity
Board is 3536 Mm3. From these reservoirs, the average water utilisation per year is
about 10000 Mm3. This quantity also includes the repeated utilisation of the tailrace.

3.3.5 Inland Navigation

The natural existence of a continuous chain of lagoons and backwaters offers


excellent facilities for water transport in Kerala. The waterway, covering 560Km from
Hosdurg in the north to Thiruvananthapuram in the south, interlinking lakes,
backwaters and river mouths is known as West Coast Canal System. The Kollam -
Kottappuram stretch of this canal system, covering a distance of 209 km has been
declared as National Waterway 3. The West Coast Canal System covers the following
reaches.

50
WATER RESOllRCES

Table 3.11: Basin wise irrigation demand in the year 2021


GARDEN
19
292
425
8
63
506
91
57
323
16
233
158
12
112
632
226
78
24
37
20
15
102
305
240
90
184
17
169
150
123
122 LAND Mm'
WETLAND
274
343
206
240
2882
4458
892
378
439
69
137
720
857
515
412
2060
141
171
1030
1338
1716
1440
62 FOR 3 CROPS
WATER DEMAND (Mm')Mm'

Source: CWRDM (1995) Water Atlas of Kerala.

51
STATE OF ENVlfWNMENT REPORT, KERALA 2005

Hosdurg _ Azhikkal 558.3 km 35.4


54.5
47.5
72.4
79.7
74.8
62.0 km
61.2
70.8

ram

The 41 west flowing rivers of Kerala in their lower reaches form an integral
part of the inland navigation of the State (Fig. 3.4). However, these rivers being
monsoon fed, the discharge dwindle down during summer and the length up to which
they are navigable from the outlet come down in non monsoon months. The rivers, in
general, being short and because of the steep fall from the Ghat to the sea, consist of a
large number of rapids and falls and therefore navigable lengths are comparatively
small. The navigable lengths of rivers in Kerala are given in Table 3.12.

3.3.6 Other Sectors

Kerala is endowed with a significant wealth of inland fishery resources. The


major inland water resources of the state having much fishery importance are the 44
rivers (85000 Ha), 53 reservoirs (42890 Ha) and 53 backwaters and other brackish
water bodies (65213Ha). The current level of inland fish production is to the quantum
of about 75036 tonnes/year. Area of various inland water resources contributing rich
fishery wealth is given in Table 3.13.

52
WATER RESOURCES

" t
KER ,\1 -\
- )
..•
.,, IMAM) i'lA\IGATIO/'Io
SCALI;

)OK_
a

KAANATAKA
\

- -
\
)
v ,,
-, , TAMIL NADU
...... -.
~''''''''''/ 1
,
( l'
J
r"
~
~
t,z
%
- -----,I
~AJAE OF CANALS
""
(f)
.,
.:.LIIAN':, CANAl I {1'\
\
,LATHURKALLAI CA •••• l '"P
'1,1
'ANUA·KUTAYI CANAL
u >'0NNANI CAlNAl J'
••NOLI CANAl
KARUMAOI CANAl ..
)
HAVAAA CANAl
AIKKUNNAPUZHA
JUlLON CANAl
CANAl I J

ARAVUR CANAl
ARKALA CANAl
4NJENGOCANAL
1'> "HANAKKARA CANAl
14_ ~KAI~ j

q
U
W4TF<I BODIES

NAv"iAPlE
LEGEND

NAVIGABLE <lIVlri
,ANAL

UJI r1-a
-
£."'"iCutm~nf 1974
,)

r
!
,
,
9
o

7'> it)' 16' iO 77

SOURCE: Water Atlas of Kerala, 1995

Fig. 3.4: Inland Navigation in Kerala

53
STATE OF ENVIRONMENT REPORT, KERALA 2005

Table 3.12:The navigable lengths of rivers in Kerala


SL Nileswar
Chitt.ni
NO. Mahe
Kallai
Kadalundi
Puzhakkal
~tamol11
Acllenkovil
Pallickal
Kallada
Ithikkar.l
NAME
Tirur
Keechcri
KaruvalU1Ur
Peruvamba
Manilliaia
Meenachil
Pamba
Karaul.1na
~t~lnjeswar
Kuppam
Valapattananl
Kariangode
Chandragiri
Mogral
Shiriya
Uppala
Tellichery
Chali
Kuttiyadi
Korappuzha
Ne)'Y.u
Peri
Ayroor
Anjar yar
Bharathapuzha
yar
akkand
Ch.llakkudy
Muvattupuzha
Ramapuram
Kavvayi
V 19
46
64
105
50
67
74
40
22
169
56
244
3092
17
16
OF48
31
51
82
78
90
88
27
68
42
48
176
110
128
DO
25
J4
54
28
130
209
TOTAL
29
121
31nanapuram no
no
24.0
11.2
684
43.2
21.6
24.8
8-15.2
1.0
3.2
27.2
yRIVER 44.8
40.0
64
25.6
16.0
41.6
54.4
2.0
16.0
12.8
4.8
9.6
NAVIGABLE
LENGTH IN LENGTllli'i
73.6 KM KM
75325
41 26 Total

Source: rWD (1974), Water Resources of Kerala

54
WATER RESOURCES

76 10 77

'-
....
... \
,
..•.
\.
,
'-,~. \J.AJOR:-' \l'LfUL
,.,FRt\IJ'\

L.\KESA~L> HACKW.UERS
;.,..hokt "
, <:orALE

;XI ••

~
.••....•.
)
~'/ '(ARNATAKA
\ -~- .;

"
.•...•.

.••
'-.\,-
i.,.'" /
'
•• fO", •• '/.1 \'- - .••.,
'"

'---
.. .,
", .•.••."\.'\ AMll NADLJ 'I
J.
,I'
..-',
.j
I'

'"I
~.~I
~
,"~'"
,,.iII'.,I,,, ,~~r..••••
"~t!'f"U
'" •
b::Jn • OJ t-..: ilW
•.., tI(
II tJ
r.- ,
i J)I\.•.
r
••,ty' ~(~ .,
.,.~
••
,f
r u, \r'
~"""~
'\.'-1"
•.........•.
~
I - I -'"
.'

·1

I It N

I..
,-

~]
SOURCE: Water Atlas of Kerala, 1995.

Fig. 3.5: Major Natural Lakes and Backwaters


55
STATE OF ENVIRONMENT REPORT, KU.ALA 2005

Table 3.13: Areas of Inland Water Resources Contributing Rich Fisheries


12873(Ha)-234
65213
1924
27625
46129
85000
42890
Area Nos
44
53
47216
Inland profile

Source: Official website of Government of Kerala

The sprawling backwaters, lakes (Fig. 3.5) and the exclusive natural reservoirs
encircled with abundant greenery invariably find an important place on the tourism
potential of the state. Leisurely cruise in House Boats, floating cottages in the typical
Kerala architectural style - attracts a great number of tourists (Fig. 3.6).

Fig. 3.6: House Boat facilitating transportation in the Vembanad Lake

56
WATER RESOLlRCES

Several spectacular boat races take place in the backwaters, which attracts
thousands of spectators including foreign tourists. The most exciting races of different
categories of boats are the Nehru Trophy and the race associated with the Lord
Parthasarathy Temple festival at Aranmula

3.4 STATE

3.4.1 Surface Water Resources

As far as surface water resources are concerned, Kerala is rich with 44 rivers
which together yield 70300 Mm3 of water annually. However the total utilizable yield
is estimated to be 42000 Mm3, only 60% of the annual yield. In the all India perspective,
the rivers of Kerala are not so significant that even the largest of them cannot find a
place among the major Indian rivers. As per the national norm, rivers with drainage
areas of more than 20000 and 2000 Sq.km are called major and medium rivers
respectively. Rivers with drainage area less than 2000 Sq.km are termed as minor
rivers. With this national norm, Kerala does not have a single major river and has
only four medium rivers; the combined discharge of these four rivers is less than half
of that of river Krislma. The remaining 40 rivers are only minor ones; the combined
discharge of all of them together is only about one-third of that of Godavari. Apart
from these, the rivers of Kerala are monsoon fed and fast flowing. Monsoon flows
contribute to almost 90% of the annual yield, leaving only about 10% during lean
flow period. The Western Ghats from where the rivers originate is devoid of snow
and therefore these river systems do not have the benefit of water supplied during
the summer seasons as in north Indian rivers. Located in the high rain fall tropical
region, Kerala experiences two monsoon seasons with an average annual rain fall of
3000 mm. But due to steep and lmdulating topography, rainwater is not much retained
on the land thereby obviating the advantages of having high rain fall to a great extent.
The water potential in the river basins of Kerala is given in Table 3.14.

57
STATE OF ENVIRONMENT REPORT, KEI\ALA 2005

Table 3.14: Water potential in the River basins of Kerala


429
973
1019
1249
708
3164un
266.9
48753.2
Ker.1l.1
Outside
2938
445
503
433.1
Total
781
3129
379
345
41-16
2033
1368
l10B Nil
[II
708
427.7
266.9
761
620
n83III
4641
1356
1922.9
1718
22-16
494
1368
1115
1"il
1911
717
345
1019
1249
445
1236
1143
280
1829
251
3814
8004
2616
60
462
889
1'<il
708
In8Oulside
603
1024
724.3
8232
3160
60
1110
122
1812
462
889 429
3164
797
1823
1218
106
1110
2270
1019
986
309
65-10
25-11
1024
Ker.1l.1
~il
35-1
937
273
938
580
1'<i1
503
389
301
358
4333
781
615
3394
1539
2784
786
238
603
803
711';
2349
11341
165
18315
Nil
266
640
122
228
544
1812
724.3
836
1324
;\Iii
Nil
70401.1
7718
6516
42237.2
130B
IIOB
i'Jil 427.7
761
986
7478
1710
1922.9 Annmlulilisable
1143
836
4333
4641
3121
2270
2383
698
3<J6.1
1024
1337
4092
1516
251
803
3814
7775
2349
1829
11607
165
1324
78119.1
1831.5 Ker.1l.1 Keral.1
Annual yicld,~IIl\' yield ~11l\'
Tirur
Neyyar'
KUpp.11l\

. CWRDM (1995) Water Atlas of Kerala.

'CWRDM 2002 report on Water Resources of Kerala with reference to Neyyar, Kamvanur and

Kuttiyadi river basins.

58