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Monsoon status report: Season of plenty for reservoirs

June-September monsoon ends with reservoirs holding 21 per cent more water than 10-year average for this stage, 33 of 113 reservoirs at full capacity, and all river systems with higher storage than normal

Written by Anjali Marar | Pune | Updated: October 1, 2019 7:34:54 am
Season of plenty for reservoirs In nearly every region, the available storage was higher than last year’s corresponding storage and the 10-year average. (Express Photo By Bhupendra Rana)

At the end of monsoon season this year, the water stored in the 113 reservoirs monitored by the Central Water Commission (CWC) is better than it was at this time last year and also better than the last 10 years’ average, the CWC’s latest reservoir storage bulletin shows.

The total live storage capacity of these 113 reservoirs is 168.77 billion cubic metres (BCM) and their live storage as of September 26 was 146.2 BCM, or 87 per cent of this capacity. At this stage last year, the live storage was 127.23 BCM (75 per cent), while the 10-year average for this period is 121.18 (72 per cent). Put another way, the live storage available in the 113 reservoirs was 115 per cent of that at this time last year, and 121 per cent of the average storage over the last 10 years.

In 33 reservoirs, water was at full reservoir level (FRL) on September 26. Levels ranged between 71 per cent and 99 per cent of FRL in 56 other reservoirs. Only in 10 reservoirs were levels at 40 per cent or below.

Simply Put: Season of plenty for reservoirs

In nearly every region, the available storage was higher than last year’s corresponding storage and the 10-year average. The only exception was in the Eastern region comprising Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Tripura and Nagaland, where the available storage of 83 per cent (16.10 BCM) in 17 reservoirs was just below last year’s 84 per cent, but way ahead of the 75 per cent average of the last 10 years.

The Western region has 39 reservoirs monitored by the CWC, in Maharashtra and Gujarat. These had 91 per cent storage (30.95 BCM), as compared to just 61 per cent at this stage last year, and a 10-year average of 68 per cent.

In the Northern region (Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan), the available storage in the eight CWC-monitored reservoirs was 17.13 BCM, or 89 per cent, as against the 10-year average of 82 per cent for the corresponding period. Last September, the available water storage here was 85 per cent.

In Central India, which has had excess rainfall during the last one month, the 16 reservoirs of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh held 37.6 BCM together, or 86 per cent of capacity. This time last year, the reserves were 79 per cent, while the 10-year average is 75 per cent.

Simply Put: Season of plenty for reservoirs Out of the country’s 113 reservoirs, the storage in 102 on September 26, 2019 was more than 80% of normal for this period. Among the 11 reservoirs with storage below 80% of normal for this period, 7 had storage over 50% of normal, with only 4 stocking under 50%. (Source: CWC)

In the Southern region (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu), where the CWC monitors 33 reservoirs, their stocks added up to 44.2 BCM, or 84 per cent of their total live capacity, up from 74 per cent at this stage last year, and much higher than the 10-year average of 66 per cent.

In Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand, West Bengal, UP, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Kerala and Chhattisgarh, the water in reservoirs was lower than the stocks at the same stage last year. In Rajasthan, Odisha, Nagaland, Gujarat, Maharashtra, MP, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, this year’s storage exceeded last year’s, owing to good rain throughout the season.

All river basins in the country have storage above normal this year.

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