A delay in arrival of the monsoon, especially in western India, will worsen the water woes even further
There is a downward trend in water levels in at least 71 of 91 reservoirs across India according to data released by the Central Water Commission (CWC) on June 13.
The situation is particularly grim in the north-western region — in Gujarat and Maharashtra — and in the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Maharashtra’s situation is especially grim with deficiency in water reserves in its reservoirs at 68 per cent while Gujarat faced a shortage of 22 per cent.
Water stored in Kerala’s reservoirs depleted sharply in just one week — to 24 per cent on June 13 from 12 per cent on June 6.
In fact, water storage in important western and southern rivers like the Sabarmati, Godavari, Krishna, and Cauvery is deficient whereas it is ‘highly deficient’ in Tapti, an 80 per cent departure with respect to the average of the last 10 years.
The reservoir basin stock in the Sabarmati, which flows through Gujarat, showed a departure of 40 per cent. The southern rivers including the Godavari, Krishna, and Cauvery reported a departure of 34, 49, and 40 per cent respectively.
Suggesting a worsening water crisis in these states, the CWC data highlights that water storage in reservoirs there has dipped to less than the average of the last 10 years.
The cumulative water storage in 91 CWC-monitored reservoirs plummeted to 29.189 BCM (billion cubic metres), which is just 18 per cent of the total capacity. The total storage is down from last week’s 30.461 BCM.
Out of 91 reservoirs, 39 reservoirs reported more than 80 per cent of normal storage while there is deficiency in at least 20 reservoirs.
However, according to CWC, the total live water storage is better than live storage of the corresponding period of last year and more than the average of the last ten years than the corresponding period.
A delay in arrival of the monsoon, especially in western India, will worsen the water woes even further. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the delay has already pushed the country’s rainfall deficiency in the first nine days of June to 45 per cent.
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