Water

A month into monsoon, India’s reservoirs are only at a third of their capacity

The current overall storage was less than that during the corresponding period last year. 

 
By Shagun Kapil
Published: Friday 25 June 2021
Live storage in reservoirs 31% of total capacity. Photo: Jaiprakashsingh / Wikimedia Commons

The volume of water in 130 important reservoirs in India has increased only 14 per cent since last week amid slow monsoon progress, according to the Central Water Commission (CWC).

The cumulative water storage in the 130 reservoirs monitored by CWC was 54.37 billion cubic metres (BCM), which was 31 per cent of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs, noted a CWC bulletin released June 24, 2021. The storage was 47.631 BCM last week. 

The current overall storage was less than that during the corresponding period last year but better than the ten-year average during the corresponding period. 

The country’s northern region, where monsoon hasn't made much progress yet, had the lowest storage at 3.71 BCM — 19 per cent of the total capacity of its eight reservoirs. The highest was in the southern region — 21.23 BCM that was 39 per cent of total live storage capacity. 

Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Nagaland had storage 63 per cent, 19 per cent and 15 per cent below their normal levels respectively.

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, had water much above their normal levels — a departure of 172 per cent, 148 per cent, 103 per cent, 139 per cent and 117 per cent respectively. 

At least one dam — Bhima in Maharashtra — had zero storage, while Panchet dam in Jharkhand had 100 per cent storage. It has already raised possibility of flood downstream Damodar In West Bengal.

The country has received 37 per cent excess rainfall during the monsoon season so far, according to the Indian Meteorological Department.

The monsoon has covered southern, eastern, central and adjoining northwest India but is yet to made progress in the remaining parts of the country, especially Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan, the department said.

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