Storage level: 23 of India’s 91 reservoirs below 50%

With the monsoon playing hide-and-seek, western and southern India are especially suffering, says CWC

By Shagun
Published: Friday 21 June 2019
A drying reservoir in north Karnataka. Photo: Getty Images

The volume water in India’s 91 reservoirs has dipped 1.92 per cent from last week according to latest data released by the Central Water Commission (CWC) on June 21.

The cumulative live water storage in the reservoirs fell to 27.27 BCM (billion cubic metres) for the week ended June 20, 2019, down from 29.19 billion cubic metres (BCM) the week before, according to data.

This is just 17 per cent of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

While 39 reservoirs had more than 80 per cent of normal storage last week, the number reduced to 32 this week. This means that 59 reservoirs have reported 80 per cent or below of normal storage, with at least 23 with storage even below 50 per cent.

Western and southern India are facing the most deterioration.

The situation in Karnataka and Kerala is scary as both states saw a sharp increase in deficiency in water reservoirs in just seven days. In Karnataka, the deficiency was reported at eight per cent on June 13. It now stands at 23 per cent.

Similarly in Kerala, the deficiency rose by 14 percentage points — 38 per cent, from 24 per cent last week.

The total live storage available in reservoirs across all southern states is 5.26 BCM, which is 10 per cent of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

Deficiency in reservoirs in Maharashtra and Gujarat increased by two percentage points compared to last week and is at 71 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.

Credit: Vijayendra Pratap SIngh/CSEEven as several parts of India have been reeling from water crisis, the monsoon this year has been delayed by seven days and hasn’t made much progress yet.

In fact, Met department records show that this monsoon has been the slowest progressing monsoon in at least 12 years. India has recorded a 44 per cent rainfall deficit, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Due to this, water storage in important western and southern rivers like the Sabarmati, the rivers of Kutch, Godavari, Krishna, and Cauvery is deficient whereas it is ‘highly deficient’ in Tapi, an over 81 per cent departure with respect to the average of the last 10 years.

The southern rivers including the Godavari, Krishna, and Cauvery reported a dip of 38, 55, and 45 per cent respectively.

The reservoir basin stock in the Sabarmati, which flows through Gujarat, showed a departure of 42 per cent, an increase from last week’s 40 per cent.

 In fact, every river basin, with the exception of the Mahi, has shown a dip in its storage levels when compared to last week.

The overall storage position has now gone down when compared to the corresponding period of last year in the country as a whole and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

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