Call Us Now

+91 9606900005 / 04

For Enquiry

India’s 6th Minor Irrigation Census


The Ministry of Jal Shakti has published the 6th census of minor irrigation schemes, covering the reference year 2017-18. This census follows five previous ones conducted in various years, with the latest being in 2013-14. The new census provides insights into the current state of irrigation practices in India.


GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Findings of the Report: Insights from the 6th MI Census
  2. Leading States in MI Schemes
  3. Minor Irrigation Schemes: Enhancing Agricultural Water Supply

Key Findings of the Report: Insights from the 6th MI Census

Distribution of MI Schemes

  • A total of 23.14 million minor irrigation (MI) schemes documented in India.
  • Groundwater (GW) schemes constitute 94.8%, while Surface Water (SW) schemes make up 5.2%.

Types of MI Schemes

  • Dug-wells occupy the largest portion of MI schemes.
  • Ranking: Dug-wells, shallow tube-wells, medium tube-wells, deep tube-wells.

Growth and Comparison

  • Compared to the prior census, the 6th MI census indicates an increase of around 1.42 million MI schemes.
  • Groundwater schemes experience a 6.9% rise, while Surface Water schemes increase by 1.2%.
Leading States in MI Schemes
  • Uttar Pradesh takes the lead in total MI schemes.
  • Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu follow closely.
  • Maharashtra excels in dug-wells, surface flow, and surface lift schemes.
  • State leaders in different types: Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Punjab for shallow tube-wells, medium tube-wells, and deep tube-wells, respectively.

Regional Distribution of SW Schemes

  • Top states with SW schemes: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha, Jharkhand.
Ownership and Financing
  • About 96.6% of MI schemes are under private ownership.
  • Groundwater schemes: 98.3% under private entities; SW schemes: 64.2% under private ownership.
  • Single-source financing for 60.2% of schemes, with significant contributions from farmers’ personal savings (79.5%).
  • 39.8% of schemes rely on multiple sources of financing.

Inclusion of Gender Data

  • First-time collection of gender data for MI scheme owners.
  • 18.1% of individually owned schemes are owned by women.

Minor Irrigation Schemes: Enhancing Agricultural Water Supply

  • A minor irrigation scheme pertains to an irrigation initiative that employs either surface water or groundwater for irrigating a cultivable command area (CCA) of up to 2,000 hectares.
  • The Cultivable Command Area (CCA) refers to land suitable for cultivation that can be effectively irrigated by a specific scheme.
Classification and Components
  • Minor irrigation schemes are categorized into two primary types and six sub-categories.
  • Ground Water (GW) Schemes: Encompass dugwells, shallow tube wells, medium tube wells, and deep tube wells.
  • Surface Water (SW) Schemes: Include surface flow and surface lift schemes.
Purpose and Benefits
  • These schemes play a crucial role in providing farmers with controlled and timely irrigation, which is essential for the successful cultivation of modern high-yielding seed varieties.
  • Characteristics: Labor-intensive, relatively short implementation period, and requiring reasonable investment for setup.


April 2024