Water Resources Department (Government of Maharashtra)
The Water Resources Department (formerly known as Irrigation Department) has a glorious history of Irrigation over last 150 years. The state of Maharashtra come into existence in the year 1960 after bifurcation of old Bombay State into Maharashtra and Gujrat. In the year 1960 the Public Works Department was divided into Irrigation Department and Building and Communication Department. Since 26 October 2004 Irrigation Department is known as Water Resources Department. Before existence of Maharashtra State, for three parts of the state(Mumbai, Pune, Nashik), three irrigation acts were in existence. For western Maharashtra Bombay irrigation Act 1879, for Vidarbha, Central provisions Act 1931 and for Marathwada, Hydrabad irrigation act was in existence. After Maharashtra State came into existence, new irrigation act was formed for all Maharashtra on 5 August 1976.
The geographical area of the Maharashtra state is 30.8 Million hectars (Mha), with cultivable area of @ 22.5 Mha. Irrigation is a key element for agricultural sector. The state has achieved a landmark in irrigation potential creation. During the formation of Maharashtra state irrigation potential was 3.86 lakh ha. Now the irrigation potential of the state is about 12.6 Mha, of which 8.5 Mha is from surface water and 4.1 Mha from ground water sources. As of June 2010 total surface irrigation potential in the state is 4.6 Mha. Out of total water used in the state about 80% goes to irrigation, 12% domestic water supplies, 4% for industrial use and remaining for other uses such as live stock and hydro & thermal power. Majority of the population of Maharashtra State is dependent on agriculture & allied activities. It is therefore agriculture & allied activities play an important role in the state economy. Adequate, timely and guaranteed irrigation is of para mouth importance in agriculture production.See more