Gujarat faces a rainfall deficit due to late onset of monsoon and shortfall of rains in many parts of the state until mid-August, which may ensure that water reservoirs are empty before next summer, said state Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Babu Bokhiria on Sunday. The state government hopes to survive on Narmada water if the state receives less rainfall by the end of monsoon.
“We have many other dams through which we can provide water to places that have received less than normal rain. There is the Narmada on which the state can depend. We will easily make water available to scarcity-hit regions,” Bokhiria said. “We will ensure that no one in the state faces drinking water problem even if there is very less rainfall,” he said.
As per government figures, the state recorded 57.50% average rain until August 22, while the state’s dams are left with a total 13755.90 million cubic metre (MCM) (65.46%) water in addition to Sardar Sarovar project that has 5131.78 MCM (97.45%) water. According to Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority figures, Kutch faces a tough situation with just 167 mm (43.15%) annual average rainfall. As per the state government’s Narmada Water Resources Water Supply and Kalpsar department figures, Kutch has 31.98 MCM or 9.56% of water left in its reservoirs. Godhatad Dam in Kutch has no water available in it, while Mitti Dam will provide water only until December this year, as per GSDMA figures. North Gujarat has also been facing a similar situation, with 316.39 MCM or 46.87% of annual average rainfall till August 22, the official data said. North Gujarat has a 498.18 MCM gross water storage (25.92%) against its total capacity. Mukteswar Dam in Mehsana district of North Gujarat will be able to provide water till February 24, 2015, while Guhai, Majham, Meswo and Hathmati reservoirs of Himmatnagar district would provide water till June 2015. Despite receiving 65.33% rainfall until mid-August this year, Saurashtra may also face a critical situation, as most of the reservoirs here will be empty by this year-end. Reservoirs in Saurashtra region currently hold just 734.17 MCM (29.23% of its total capacity). As per government figures, Aaji-1, Macchhu-2, Und-1, Sasoi and Panna reservoirs would have no water left by end of this year, whereas Moj, Fofal, Macchu-1, Limbdi Bhogavo and Ghee reservoirs in the region would be empty before next year’s summer sets in.