The objective of this study is to measure the balance of water demand versus water resource availability in an interfluve of West Bengal, India to support water resource planning, particularly of inter-basin transfers. Surface water availability was modelled using the US Soil Conservation Service curve number (SCS-CN) approach, whilst groundwater availability was modelled based on water-level fluctuations and the rainfall infiltration method. Water use was modelled separately for the agricultural, industrial, and domestic sectors using a predominantly normative approach and water use to availability ratios calculated for different administrative areas within the interfluve. Overall, the approach suggested that the interfluve receives 327 × 106 m3 year-1 of excess water after satisfying these sectoral demands, but that the eastern part of the study area is in deficit. However, a sensitivity analysis carried on the approach to several assumptions in the model suggested changed circumstances would produce surplus/deficit ranging from −215 × 106 to 435 × 106 m3 year-1. The approach could have potential for localised water balance modelling in other Indian catchments. Editor D. Koutsoyiannis; Associate editor D. Hughes © 2015 IAHS.