Reservoir levels rise after rains, but fail to cross normal storage mark in many states

At least 10 states still hold water below their normal storage levels

By Shagun
Published: Friday 16 August 2019

Above-normal rainfall in several states has been pushing up the live storage in India's reservoirs significantly for the last few weeks. But reservoirs in at least 10 states still hold less water than their normal storage levels.

These states include Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura, Nagaland, and Chhattisgarh.

Water levels in Uttar Pradesh reservoirs showed the highest departure from normal storage — 47 per cent, according to the weekly bulletin by Central Water Commission (CWC) released for the week through August 14, 2019. This was followed by Telangana (45 per cent) and West Bengal (36 per cent).

The live storage in 107 reservoirs in the country improved to 106.68 billion cubic metres (BCM) from 76.85 BCM last week, according to the bulletin. This means the reservoirs held 64 per cent of their total live storage capacity. The reservoir levels had gone up 42 per cent the week before that.

"Since last one month, we are gradually trying to increase the number of reservoirs monitored by CWC," said Dilip Kumar Jena, director, water management, CWC.

"There are more than 4,000 small and big reservoirs in the country and we want to gather more data on these. So every week we are trying to increase five or six," he added.

The overall storage position improved this week. It was better than the corresponding period of last year and the average storage of last 10 years during this period.

Heavy rainfall improved storage levels of reservoirs in western states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Out of a total of 38 reservoirs in these states, at least three had 100 per cent storage, 13 were between 91 and 99 per cent and only nine were in the ‘40 per cent or below’ category.

While 10 states were rainfall deficient, seven were ‘large deficient’, according to India Meteorological Department’s data released on August 14, 2019.

Omkareshwar dam in Madhya Pradesh had zero per cent live storage till August 14, according to the bulletin while 12 others have less than 50 per cent storage.

As far as river basins are concerned, Sabarmati basin was facing a grim situation with water storage in the ‘highly deficient’ category. While last year it was 25.24 per cent of the total capacity, this year the river basin holds only 13.53 per cent.

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