Water bodies in Kerala

  • Kerala is known for its abundant natural resources, especially water. The state has 44 rivers, 27 backwaters (mostly in the form of lakes and ocean inlets), 7 lagoons, 18681 ponds and over 30 lakh wells.
  • Vembanadu is the biggest lake, with an area of 200 square kilometers (sq. km). Many of the rivers like Periyar, Pampa, Manimala, Achankovil, Meenachil and Muvattupuzha drain out to backwaters.
  • Out of the 27 backwaters, two are fresh water resources. viz. Pookot (Kalpetta in Kozhikode) and Sasthamkotta (in Kollam district).
  • Out of the 44 rivers, 41 are west flowing and three are east flowing which are tributaries of the Cauvery river.
  • Of the 44 rivers, 33 are less than 100 km long with a total length of 1577 kms covering a catchment area of 14949 sq. km.
  • The remaining 11 rivers are above 100 kms in length and their total length is 1643 km, with a catchment area of 25058 sq. km and the effective catchment area of all the river basins is 38864 sq. km.
  • Five major rivers, viz  Periyar, Bhrathapuzha, Pamba. Chaliyar and Chalakudy altogether drain 40 per cent of the geographical area of the state.
  • Apart from rivers. Backwaters, ponds and wells, springs also contribute to the water resources in Kerala.
  • The non-conventional fresh water source in northern Malabar ie surangams(horizontal wells) is a unique source of freshwater. Kerala also has good groundwater potential.