The drainage system in Assam is characterized by a network of rivers, tributaries, and wetlands. Assam is endowed with a diverse topography, including the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries, which play a crucial role in shaping the region’s drainage pattern.
Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra, one of the major rivers of the world, flows through the heart of Assam. It enters the state near Sadiya in the northeast and flows southwestward, passing through major cities like Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Tezpur, and Guwahati.
The Brahmaputra is a transboundary river, originating in Tibet and flowing through India and Bangladesh before joining the Bay of Bengal.
Subansiri River: The Subansiri is a major tributary of the Brahmaputra, originating in Tibet. It enters Assam near Lakhimpur and merges with the Brahmaputra near Dibrugarh.
Lohit River: The Lohit, another important tributary of the Brahmaputra, originates in Tibet and enters Assam near Parashuram Kund. It joins the Brahmaputra near the town of Sadiya.
Dibang River: The Dibang is the largest tributary of the Brahmaputra, originating in Arunachal Pradesh. It joins the Brahmaputra in Assam, contributing to the overall flow of the river.
Barak River: The Barak River, a major river in southern Assam, flows through the districts of Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi. It eventually joins the Surma River in Bangladesh to form the Meghna River.
Kopili River: The Kopili is a tributary of the Brahmaputra, originating in the Meghalaya Plateau. It flows through Assam, joining the Brahmaputra near Goalpara.
Manas River: The Manas River, originating in Bhutan, flows through the western part of Assam. It is a major tributary of the Brahmaputra and forms part of the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary.
Borak River: The Borak River, not to be confused with the Barak, flows through the Cachar district of southern Assam. It eventually joins the Surma River in Bangladesh.
Wetlands and Beels: Assam is home to numerous wetlands and beels (oxbow lakes) that contribute to the overall drainage system. These wetlands serve as crucial habitats for diverse flora and fauna.
Floodplains: The Brahmaputra, with its annual floods, forms extensive floodplains in Assam. While these floods bring fertile silt deposits, they also pose challenges, and efforts are made for flood management.
The Brahmaputra and its tributaries, along with the Barak River, form a complex and dynamic drainage system in Assam. The rivers not only shape the region’s landscape but also play a vital role in supporting agriculture, biodiversity, and the overall livelihoods of the people of Assam. Flood management and sustainable use of water resources are essential aspects of managing the drainage system in the state.