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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Dams in state 50 per cent full as monsoon enters second half

The Sardar Sarovar across Narmada River in Narmada district of south Gujarat region accounted for almost half of that with a gross storage of 4913.72 mcm.

Written by Gopal Kateshiya, Ritu Sharma | Ahmedabad/rajkot | July 27, 2020 10:27:54 am
Dams in state 50 per cent full as monsoon enters second half As of Sunday, the 206 major dams of Gujarat were cumulatively 50.25 per cent full. File

With the south-west monsoon set to enter its second half in Gujarat, dams in the state had cumulative storage of 50 per cent on Sunday, due to the rainfall pattern of this season.

As of Sunday, the 206 major dams of Gujarat were cumulatively 50.25 per cent full, having total gross storage of 12,676 million cubic metre (mcm), data available with Narmada and Water Resources, Water Supply and Kalpasar department of the state government shows.

The Sardar Sarovar across Narmada River in Narmada district of south Gujarat region accounted for almost half of that with a gross storage of 4913.72 mcm.

South Gujarat region, which holds 69 per cent of water resources though it accounts for only 25 per cent of state’s geographical area, usually leads the chart of storage in dams every year.

But this year, it is trailing Saurashtra in terms of percentage of gross storage in dams. While 16 dams in south Gujarat’s six districts, excluding the Narmada dam, are 54 per cent full—having cumulative storage of 4664 mcm, 140 dams of Saurashtra are 57.27 per cent full, the highest for any region in terms of percentage storage in the state.

However, in absolute terms, the cumulative gross storage of these 140 dams is only 1454 mcm or less a third of south Gujarat’s.

Kutch and Saurashtra regions which received 87.78 per cent and 64.48 percent rainfall of their long-term average respectively, are leading the chart of rainfall at this stage.

North Gujarat (26.98%), east-central Gujarat (26.66%) and south Gujarat (27.26%) have so far recorded only around one-fourth of their average rainfall. The state as a whole has logged 39.66 per cent rainfall.

The higher percentage of rainfall in Saurashtra has translated into a very little overall storage in dams of the region as the districts which have experienced more than 100 per cent of their average rainfall are the ones which do not have big irrigation schemes.

Devbhoomi Dwarka has recorded the highest of 162.20 per cent rainfall as of July 26, followed by Porbandar (111.78 %) and Jamnagar (104.26%).

Except Surendranagar (43.72%) and Bhavnagar (44.66%), the remaining nine districts of Saurashtra have received more than 50 of season’s rainfall.

But the higher-than-normal rainfall in these three districts has not led to commensurate storage in dams of the region as they do not have dams with huge storage capacity and much of the floodwaters of rivers have drained into the sea.

The region accounts for 33 per cent of geographical area of the state but has only 17 per cent of state’s water resources.

In terms of percentage filling, north Gujarat region is at the bottom with 27.27 per cent. Kutch (38.81%) and central Gujarat (43%) are slightly better off.

Within Saurashtra, the bulk of the storage, in terms of percentage, has happened in Jamangar (89.78%), Gir Somnath (83.78%), Porbandar (82.58%) and Devbhumi Dwarka (70.65%) districts.

But the designed gross storage capacity of dams in these four districts is just 682 mcm, which is less than five per cent of total designed gross storage capacity of 15,766 mcm of all the dams of Saurashtra. Storage in districts like Bhavnagar (34.52%) Rajkot (61.47 %) and Junagadh (61.72) which have major dams like Shetrunji, Bhadar and Ozat-II respectively, is comparatively low.

Shetrunji, the largest dam of Saurashtra with designed gross storage of 308.68 mcm, is just 38.77 per cent full. Bhadar, the second largest reservoir of the region with designed gross storage capacity of 188.14 mcm, is just 36.42 per cent full.

Botda (25 %), Surendranagar (29.87%), Morbi (41.66%) and Amreli (57.39%) too have storage lower than the region’s average.

The skewed storage in reservoirs is due to the skewed spatial distribution of rainfall this season.

Among the southern districts, Dang has received the lowest rainfall of 18.70 per cent. The other six districts — Bharuch, Narmada, Tapi, Surat, Navsari and Valsad – received 22-42 per cent of their average rainfall.

In north Gujarat, Banaskantha has recorded the lowest of 20.54 per cent rainfall while Gandhinagar the highest of 40.98, and the remaining districts received below 30 per cent of their average rainfall.

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