Indus (Up to border)

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Hydrological Observation Stations Map

Hydrological Observation Stations Map


The Indus basin extends over China (Tibet), India, Afghanistan and Pakistan draining an area of 11,65,500 In India, the basin spreads over states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Union Territory of Chandigarh having an area of 3,21,289 which is nearly 9.8% of the total geographical area. The geographical extent of the basin is between 72°28’ to 79°39’ east longitudes and 29°8’ to 36°59’ north latitudes of the country with a maximum length and width of 756 km and 560 km. The basin is bounded by the Himalayas on the east, by the Karakoram and Haramosh ranges on the north, by the Sulaiman and Kirthar ranges on the west, and by the Arabian Sea on the south. The Indus River rises from the lofty mountains of Himalayas around Mansarovar Lake in Tibet at an elevation of 5,182 m. The total length of Indus from origin to its outfall in Arabian Sea is 2,880 km, out of which 1,114 km flows through India. Its principal tributaries in India are the Jhelum, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas and the Satluj, all joining from left.
The major part of basin is covered with agricultural land accounting to 35.8% of the total area and 1.85% of the basin is covered by water bodies. The basin spreads over 32 parliamentary constituencies (2009) comprising 13 of Punjab, 7 of Jammu & Kashmir, 4 each of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, 3 of Rajasthan and 1 of Chandigarh.
The water resource development in the Indus basin is governed by the various provision of the Indus water treaty, 1960. According to this treaty the water of the Ravi, the Beas and the Satluj shall be available for the unrestricted use by India. India has also been permitted to make domestic use, non-consumptive use, uses for runoff the river Hydroelectric plants and specified agricultural use from the Indus, the Jhelum and the Chenab.

Salient Features of Indus Basin (Upto border)
Basin Extent

72° 28’ to 79° 39’ E
29° 8’ to 36° 59’ N
Length of Indus River (Km) 1114 (in India)
Catchment Area ( 321289
Average Water Resource Potential (MCM)73310
Utilizable Surface Water Resource(MCM) 46000
Live Storage Capacity of Completed Projects (MCM) 16222.0
Live Storage Capacity of Projects Under Construction (MCM) 100.00
Total Live Storage Capacity of Projects (MCM) 16322.00
No. of Hydrological Observation Stations of CWC 26
No. of Flood Forecasting Stations of CWC 0


The Indus basin extends over an area of 11,65,500 sq. km and lies in Tibet , India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The drainage area lying in India is 321289 sq. km. which is nearly 9.8% of the total geographical area of the country. It is bounded on the north by the Karakoram and Haramosh ranges, on the east by the Himalayas, on the west by the Sulaiman and Kirthar ranges and on the south by the Arabian sea. The basin lies in the States of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. The State-wise distribution of the drainage area is given below:

State Drainage area (sq. km)
Jammu and Kashmir193,762
Himachal Pradesh51,356
Total 321,289

The upper part of the basin lying in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh is mostly mountain ranges and narrow valleys. In Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan the basin consists of vast plains which are the fertile granary of the country. The principal soil types found in the basin are submontane, brown hill and alluvial soils. The culturable area of the basin is about 9.6 M. ha which is 4.9% of the total culturable area of the country.

River System

Indus river rises from Mansarovar in Tibet at an elevation of about 5182 m and flows for about 2880 km upto its outfall into the Arabian sea. The length of the river in India is 800.75 km. Its principal tributaries are the Sutlej, the Beas, the Ravi, the Chenab and the Jhelum.

Status of Surface Water Development

The water resources of the basin is well developed. During the pre-plan period many diversion works such as Upper Bari Doab canal, Sirhind canal, Ranbir canal, Eastern canals and Gang canal existed in the basin. Important projects taken up and completed in the plan period include Bhakra-Nangal, Beas project, and Harike barrage. Rajasthan canal, Thein dam, Sutlej-Yamuna link canal and Ravi-Tawi lift irrigation are some of the important projects under construction in the basin.The present surface water utilization in the basin has been assessed at an average of 40-42 cubic km. which is 87% of the utilizable surface water potential. Nearly 71% of the utilizable ground water in the basin has also been exploited so far.The water resource development in the Indus basin is governed by various provision of the Indus Water Treaty, 1960. According to this Treaty, the water of the Eastern Rivers, namely, the Ravi, the Beas and the Sutlej, shall be available for the unrestricted sue by India. India has also been permitted to make from the Western River, domestic non-consumptive uses, uses for run-of-the river hydroelectric plants and specified agricultural use and construction of storage works.

Hydropower Potential

The hydropower potential of the basin has been assessed as 33832 MW. Upto March 2012 potential of 10779.30 MW is developed and 4581 MW capacity is under construction. A major part of the potential, therefore, remains to be developed. The major important hydro power stations are Bhakra, Pong, Dehar, Ranjit Sagar, Chamera Stage - I,II,III, Nathpa Jhakri, Uri, Salal, Baghliar.

Urban Centers and Industries

Important urban centers and towns in the basin are Chandigarh,Srinagar,Shimla,Ambala, Bikaner,Bathinda and Patiala . Most of the industries in the basin are based on agriculture and agricultural based products such as textile, woolen, sugar, oil, paper and agricultural equipments. Other industries are cement, automobiles, machine and machine parts.

Hydrological Network

There are 26 H.O. sites in the basin maintained by the Central Water Commission. The State Governments also carry out gauge-discharge observations at various points in the river basin.

Existing Organisation

The Indus Commission has been set up in the Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India under the Indus Water Treaty to look into the aspects of implementation of the Treaty obligations. The Bhakra-Beas Management Boardwas constituted for the administration and management of the inter-state Bhakra-Beas projects. It regulates the supply of water and power to the basin States of Punjab Haryana and Rajasthan and U.T of Chandigarh & delhi. For sharing of surplus Ravi & Beas water a tribunal is formed Ravi & Beas Waters Tribunal

Inter-State Agreement

1. Draft agreement Dated 27th May, 1897 between the British Government and the Bikaner State regarding the Northern and Southern Ghaggar Canals.View

2 Tripartite Agreement Dated 4th September,1920 among .the British Government, the Government of H.H.The Nawab of Bahawalpur and H.H. The Maharaja of Bikaner regarding irrigation of the tracts from the Gharra reach of the Sutlej river and the Panjnad reach of Chenab river.View

3 Agreement Dated 3rd March, 1925 between the Secretary of State for India in Council and the Raja of Nandi regarding Uhl river hydro-electric Project in (erstwhile) Mandi State.(Also Refer s1. No. 3 and S1. 13).View

4 First Supplemental, Agreement Dated 26th December, 1935 between the Secretary of State for India in Council and H.H the Raja of Mandi regarding Supply of energy in Mandi towns (Uhl river Hydro-electric Project).View

5 Agreement (UnDated) among the East Punjab Government and the Government of Patiala and East Punjab States Union regarding Sirhind Canal and Distribution of supplies.View

6 Government of India resolution Dated 25th September, 1950 on Constitution of Bhakra Control Board and Bhakra Advisory Board. View

7 Summary record of decisions taken at the Inter-state Conference held on 29th January, 1955 regarding the development and utilisation of the waters of the rivers Ravi and Beas.View

8 Summary record of decision taken at the Interstate meeting of Chief Engineers of Punjab, Rajasthan and PEPSU held on 1st March, 1955 regarding development and utilisation of waters of the rivers Ravi and Seas.View

9 Summary record of decision taken at the meeting of Chief Engineers of Punjab, PEPSU and Rajasthan held on 9th September,1956 regarding apportionment of Cost of Construction of common projects on river Seas, Sutlej and Ravi.View

10 Resolution of Government of India Dated 19th December, 1958 for setting up the Rajasthan Canal Board.View

11 Agreement on Construction of Bhakra Nangal Project between Punjab and Rajasthan in January, 1959.View

12 Summary record of decisions taken at the Interstate meeting between Govt. of Punjab and Rajasthan held on 15th February,1965 on distribution of surplus waters of Ravi and Beas, share in the free flow of river Sutlej, apportionment of cost of common works etc.View

13 Second supplemental Agreement Dated 9th April, 1965 between the Punjab State Electricity Board and the President of India as Government of Himachal Pradesh regarding Uhl river Hydroelectric project.View

14 Punjab Re-organisation Act,1966.Part VIII(Bhakra Nangal & Seas Project).View

15 Government of India Notification of 24th March,1976 on Sharing of Ravi Beas Waters between Punjab and Haryana arising out of re-organisation of the state of Punjab.View

16 Summary record of decision taken at the meeting held on 3rd October,1977 by the Prime Minister of India with the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir regarding the implementation of Thein Dam, Project.View

17 Agreement Dated 19th January, 1979 between the Governments of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab regarding Thein Dam and Power Plant Scheme.View

18 Agreement Dated 20th January, 1979 regarding Thein Dam and Power Plant Scheme between Punjab and Jammu-and Kashmir.View

19 Agreement of 31st December, 1981 on allocation of surplus Ravi Beas waters and implementation of SYL Canal Project between Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.View

20 Award of Government of India 15th January, 1982 on Rajasthan claim to convey 0.57 MAF of waters through, SYL/Bhakra system. View

21 Memorandum of Understanding between Chief Ministers of Himachal Pradesh and Chief Ministers of Punjab at the discussion held on 15.7.1983 regarding acquisition of land in Himachal Pradesh for the Anandpur Sahib Hydel Channel Project of Punjab.View

22 Memorandum of Understanding between the Chief Minister/of Himachal Pradesh and the chief minister of Punjab at the discussions held on 15.7.83 regarding construction of Shah Nehar Barrage and Mukerian Hydel Channel Projects by Punjab. View

23 Agreement Dated 4th August, 1983 between Government of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh relating to the construction of Shah Nehar barrage and Mukerian Hydel Channel Project by Punjab.View

24 Agreement Dated 10th may, 1984 among the Chief Ministers of Rajasthan and Haryana and the Governor of Punjab and Government of India regarding supply of cooling water for Ropar Thermal Power Station and commissioning of Anandpur Sahib Hydel Project.View

Water Resources

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