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Explained: Why low water levels halfway through monsoon is a matter of worry

According to the CWC report, the southern states have taken the biggest hit this monsoon, with the collective available stocks at 24 per cent whereas it stood at 56 per cent in the corresponding period, last year.

Written by Anjali Marar | Pune | Updated: July 28, 2019 9:25:02 pm
Water crisis in india, india monosoon, Monsoon in India, water reservoirs in india, dam storage in india, Water shortage in india, Express Explained River basins of Ganga, Krishna, Mahanadi, Cauvery are all indicating deficient basin storage whereas Tapi, Sabarmati and Godavari are running highly deficient this year. (Representational)

This year’s monsoon season is nearing its half-way mark, but the reservoirs do not show any appreciable improvement in water stocks with 76 out of the 100 reservoirs in the country continuing to remain below 40 per cent of their total capacities.

The total reservoir storage in all these dams is 63 per cent as on July 25, the latest reservoir level and storage report issued by Central Water Commission (CWC) indicated. Last year this time, the stocks were 71 per cent of the total capacity.

River basins of Ganga, Krishna, Mahanadi, Cauvery are all indicating deficient basin storage whereas Tapi, Sabarmati and Godavari are running highly deficient this year. The collective basin-wise storage has slipped from 65.02 per cent in 2019 to 40.83 per cent this July. This year, the major deficit in basin-wise stocks are reported from Krishna (8.26 per cent), Ganga(6.44 per cent), Narmada (5.80 per cent), Mahi (1.69 per cent), Godavari (1.51 per cent), the report suggested.

Last August, overflowing dams in Kerala caused massive floods, this year the same dams are yet to reach half of its total capacity. According to the CWC report, the southern states have taken the biggest hit this monsoon, with the collective available stocks at 24 per cent whereas it stood at 56 per cent in the corresponding period, last year.

The water reserves in the northern regions — Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan — is far better than 2018, when the stocks amounted to 25 per cent of the total six reservoirs as opposed to 48 per cent this year.

In the eastern region, covering 16 reservoirs Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura, the collective water stocks in 2019 is merely 17 per cent whereas the water stocks last year this time was 37 per cent.

As many as 35 reservoirs spanning Gujarat and Maharashtra of the western region this year hold only 19 per cent of the total capacity this July. In 2018, the situation was far better with the collective stocks remaining 32 per cent of the total capacity.

The total available water stock in 12 reservoirs in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh comprising Central India region is close to what was available in 2018. This year, the stocks stands at 25 per cent whereas last year it was 33 per cent, with respect to the total stocks.

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