Reservoir levels go up 32%, yet hold one-third of the water they can

In a week, India’s 100 reservoirs got 13.422 BCM water, but owing to deficient rainfall the water bodies have just 33 per cent of their capacity

By Shagun
Published: Monday 05 August 2019
At least three dams had zero per cent live storage till August 1. Photo: Getty Images

The live storage in 100 of India's reservoirs has increased by 13.422 billion cubic metres in a week, but the water bodies even now hold only 33 per cent of their capacity.

Currently, the cumulative storage level is at 54.258 BCM, according to the weekly bulletin released by the Central Water Commission on August 5, 2019. This was at 40.836 BCM last week.

These reservoirs had 73.162 BCM a year ago (the week spanning end July and the beginning of August); the average of the last 10 years was 67.922 BCM then — both more than the current levels.

At least three dams had zero per cent live storage till August 1 — Yeldari and Pench dams in Maharashtra and Nagarjuna Sagar located on the border of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, according to the bulletin.

In six other dams in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Odisha, the situation is equally grim with 10 per cent or less storage. At least 23 reservoirs have less than 50 per cent of the water they can hold.

The position of the southern states worsened in the last week. Less than average rainfall has pushed the water deficiency in Telangana and Karnataka reservoirs to 73 and 20 per cent from 70 and 18 per cent recorded on July 25.

Andhra Pradesh with 84 per cent deficiency and Kerala with 54 per cent have seen no improvement in the seven days.

The departure from normal rainfall in the five southern states of Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu stands at 32, 17, 16, 29, and 13 per cent respectively.

Since the beginning of southwest monsoon, the live storage has improved marginally by 11.647 BCM. The first bulletin the CWC released after the monsoon on June 13 showed live storage in reservoirs at 29.189 BCM.

Monsoon in 2019 has progressed at the slowest pace in at least 12 years, data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) showed. There is an overall rainfall deficit of nine per cent in the country so far. This has led to acute water shortage, especially in the southern and western states.

While water storage in important rivers like Ganga, Krishna, and Mahanadi was 'close to normal' till mid-July, all three rivers have now entered the ‘deficient’ category along with Tapi, Godavari, Cauvery, and neighbouring East Flowing Rivers. It is 'highly deficient' in Sabarmati and rivers of Kutch.

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