In Punjab, the vast Indo - Gangetic alluvial plain forms an excellent repository of ground water resources. Ground water in Punjab occurs under both confined and unconfined conditions. The aquifers are laterally and vertically extensive and persistent in nature. In south-western parts, the thickness of fresh water aquifer is much less as compared to the other parts because area is underlain by brackish/saline water. At places, the thickness of fresh water bearing aquifer is even less than 10 m.

 Satluj Beas and Ravi are the perennial rivers of the Indus system, which flows through Punjab that 9 3 together carry 40.5 x 10 m of. Ghaggar is the seasonal river. Himalayan glaciers melt account for about 58 percent of the source water supply of these rivers. All these rivers are tapped by using dams at different levels in the catchment areas and stored water is utilized for irrigation through a strong network of canals in the command areas.

Besides these rivers several Choes, Nadies and Khads also traverse the State of Punjab and out falling into these Rivers. Mainly Sakki/ Kiran Nallah, Sakki Nallah Diversion, Patti Nallah, Kasur Nallah, Hudiara Nallah, Chand Bhan Drain, Budha Nallah, Chand Bhan Diversion Drain, Jhabowali Choe, Swan Nadi etc.

The drainage system has infrastructure of about 1800 Kms. long flood protection embankments, 3800 Nos. River Training Works and 7200 Km long drainage network for proper drainage of rain water to save the agriculture land from fury of floods and to check the water logging in the water logged areas. The length of various rivers Embankment thereof falling in Punjab State are as below (

a.            River Beas L = 256.43 Km, Embankment = 215.84 Km,

b.            River Sutlej L = 582.68 Km, Embankment = 484.12 Km,

c.            River Ravi L = 141.29 Km, Embankment = 245.28 Km

d.            River Ghaggar L = 165.00 Km, Embankment = 252.81 K

Punjab has been successful in achieving almost 100% net irrigated area, to modernize the agricultural practices in the State. However, this has come with a cost. The state is heavily dependent on ground water resources for irrigation needs of the state. A report by Central Ground Water Board, on the Dynamic Ground Water Resources of India (2017), highlights that over 95% of extracted water in Punjab is for irrigation purposes, the highest across all states. The heavy exploitation of ground water resources has implications for the availability of groundwater in the state, as well as soil fertility.

The Kandi area, dependent on rains, a sub-mountainous zone that stretches in a thin belt along the northeastern border of the state (comprising of Punjab Shiwaliks and strip of undulating land below the hills falling in Talwara, Mukerian, Hazipur, Dasuya, Bhunga and parts of Hoshiarpur) with total area of 71621 hectares is proposed to be brought under command of Kandi canal and low dams, out of which 35640 hectare (50%) has already been brought under command of canals & Low Dam’s networks (

Government of Punjab is consistent in providing water supply and sewerage facilities. On February 2018, 1.45 lac tap connections have been established in the State under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) as reported in Economic Survey of Punjab 2019-20. As on March 2015, 81% of urban households had access to water supply while 74% had access to sewerage facilities. Further, 99% of the rural households have access to improved drinking water facility in the state as per National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), 2015-16.


Water Resources in Punjab

Source : Department of Irrigation, Punjab