Water

Water level in dams has reduced drastically in drought-hit states, says CWC

Out of 5,172 big dams in the country, 4,048 are situated in the 10 droughts-hit states

 
By Rashmi Verma
Last Updated: Wednesday 11 May 2016

The Central Water Commission’s latest report on the storage level capacity of reservoirs across the country shows that the water level has reduced drastically in nearly all the dams in the 10 drought-affected states.

A number of big dams, in the height range of 10-15 metres and above, have been the most affected by the current water shortage due to the prevailing drought.

Out of 5,172 big dams in the country, 4,048 are situated in the 10 droughts-hit states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh).

The table shows big dams having height of more than 15 metres in drought-affected states

 

Total completed dams

Dams under construction

Total number of dams

Andhra Pradesh

2

-

2

Chhattisgarh

248

10

258

Jharkhand

50

29

79

Karnataka

230

1

231

Madhya Pradesh

898

8

906

Maharashtra

1693

152

1845

Odisha

199

5

204

Rajasthan

201

10

211

Telangana

162

20

182

Uttar Pradesh

115

15

130

Source: Central Water Commission

According to the National Register for Large Dams, there are 59 completed dams and 10 which are under construction and these come under the category of Dams of National Importance.

These dams have a height of 100 metres and above and their gross storage capacity is 1 billion cubic metres and above. These are primarily meant for hydropower generation, besides flood control, water supply for irrigation or a combination of all the above factors.

There has been a significant change in the water storage capacity of big dams as compared to last year. The Srisailam dam in Andhra Pradesh, Panchet in Jharkhand, Krishna Raja Sagara and Supa dams in Karnataka, Tawa dam in Madhya Pradesh, Koyna and Isapur in Maharashtra, Rengali and Upper Kolab dams in Odisha and Matatila dam in Uttar Pradesh are the worst affected in terms of live water storage.

The impact of this year’s drought has been so pronounced that land under irrigation in the drought-hit states has gone below 18 per cent despite the national average of 45-46 per cent in normal times.

Besides affecting agriculture, water shortage in dams and reservoirs affect power generation. In the case of Maithon dam in Jharkhand, a constant supply of 50,000 to 55,000 cubic metres of water per day is required to generate 1,050 mega watt of power.

Water scarcity hits the power generation capacity of Maithon and this is true in case of other dams too. An instance was the closure of the Raichur thermal power plant (1,720 MW capacity) in Karnataka in February and the Parli thermal power plant (1,160 MW capaicty) in Maharashtra. The Raichur thermal power plant accounts for 30 per cent of Karnataka’s power generation.

Most of Karnataka’s thermal power plants are concentrated in the north, which is a rain shadow area. There is no assurance of adequate water supply in the dams due to the reduced flow of the Krishna river. Also, the monsoon is still a month away.

The Solapur thermal power plant (1,320 MW) in Maharashtra is facing commissioning delays and there is an ongoing threat to its financial viability due to the water supply crisis.

In March this year, five units of the Farakka power plant with a combined generation capacity of 1,600 MW were shut down in West Bengal due to water shortage in the Farakka feeder canal.

Erratic rainfall is not the primary reason behind India’s water crisis. Poor management of water resource is very much to blame for the current situation.

According to experts, a water management system which is concentrated, community-driven and decentralised is the best to prevent over extraction of water. If sewage water is sourced for electricity generation, the pressure on reservoirs will be minimised. This will ensure more water availability for drinking purposes and irrigation.

The table shows the status of dams of national importance in drought-affected states

Drought-hit states

Dams of National Importance

Current reservoir level (in metres)

Live capacity at FRL (BCM)

Current live storage

Storage as per cent live capacity at FRL

 

 

 

 

 

2016

2015

Andhra Pradesh

Srisailam

239.35

8.288

0.538

6

30

Chhattisgarh

Minimata (Hasdeo) Bango

346.39

3.046

1.042

34

75

Jharkhand

Maithon Dam

136.14

0.471

0.058

12

21

 

Panchet Hill

119.90

0.184

0.009

5

23

 

Tenughat

255.86

0.821

0.277

34

42

Karnataka

Krishnarajasagara

738.80

1.163

0.179

15

21

 

Tungabhadra

479.94

3.278

0.064

2

2

 

Bhadra Dam

639.16

1.391

0.041

3

12

 

Linganamakki Dam

538.11

4.294

0.958

22

21

 

Malaprabha

620.28

0.972

0.022

2

9

 

Hemavathy Project

872.87

0.927

0.097

10

13

 

Supa

526.53

4.120

0.900

22

40

 

Almatti

506.73

3.105

0.141

5

8

Madhya Pradesh

Gandhi sagar

392.64

6.827

2.908

43

40

 

Tawa

337.90

1.944

0.161

8

32

 

Indira Sagar

249.84

9.745

2.127

22

22

Maharashtra

Koyna

629.97

2.652

0.422

16

38

 

Isapur

427.82

0.965

0.083

9

21

 

Totaladoh

471.44

1.091

0.127

12

18

Odisha

Hirakud

185.57

5.378

1.543

29

27

 

Rengali

114.12

3.432

0.783

23

61

 

Upper Kolab

849.34

0.935

0.244

26

50

 

Indravati

631.68

1.456

0.473

32

48

Rajasthan

Ranapratap sagar

347.30

1.436

0.481

33

23

 

Mahi bajaj sagar

266.55

1.711

0.358

21

30

Telangana

Nagarjunasagar Dam

154.50

6.841

0.000

0

3

Uttar Pradesh

Rihand

256.71

5.647

1.054

19

17

 

Matatila

302.73

0.707

0.144

20

86

Source: Central Water Commission

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