Explained: Reservoir levels — West well stocked with water, South is shorthttps://indianexpress.com/article/explained/west-well-stocked-with-water-south-is-short-india-rains-monsoon-floods-5902993/

Explained: Reservoir levels — West well stocked with water, South is short

Reservoirs exceed normal levels for this stage of the year after heavy rain in Maharashtra and Gujarat, way below normal in rain-hit Kerala and Karnataka.

Reservoir levels across India as southwest monsoon progresses
Reservoir levels (As percentage of live capacity at f full reservoir level)

Among the four states that have experienced extremely heavy rainfall this month, the status of water stored in their reservoirs is vastly different. Nationwide, the 103 reservoirs monitored by the Central Water Commission (CWC) had stored 76.845 billion cubic metres (BCM) by August 8, or 47 per cent of their live storage capacity. This was below last year’s storage at this stage (97 per cent) as well as the 10-year average (97 per cent).

In Gujarat and Maharashtra, storage in the 35 reservoirs has surpassed the 10-year average (considered normal), following incessant rainfall over the Western region since the start of August, according to the latest live storage report issued by the CWC, with figures updated until August 8. On the other hand, although coastal Karnataka and north Kerala too have had heavy rainfall over the last fortnight, the water stock in reservoirs in both two Southern states is still below normal for this time of the year.

Southern Gujarat, and western and southern Maharashtra have had heavy rainfall, which has led to floods in Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara districts of southern Maharashtra. The Western region has 35 reservoirs, in Maharashtra and Gujarat. The current live storage in the 35 reservoirs is 17.40 billion cubic metres (BCM), which is 54 per cent of their live storage capacity of 32.31 BCM. Last year, the live storage during this period was 35 per cent, the CWC report said. The 54 per cent also surpasses the 10-year average storage of 46 per cent.

Region by region” How full are reservoirs

In the Southern region are 32 reservoirs under CWC monitoring, with a total live storage capacity of 52.10 BCM. As of August 8, the total live storage available in these reservoirs is 21.83 BCM, which is 42% of total live storage capacity. This is below the storage during the corresponding period of last year (62 per cent) as well as the 10-year average for the corresponding period (50 per cent).

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Of the two Southern states that have witnessed very heavy rainfall, the storage in the 14 reservoirs of Karnataka is 6 per cent below normal. In the six reservoirs of Kerala, storage is as much as 49 per cent below normal for this time of the year. Of the 32 reservoirs in the entire Southern region, as many as 19 have reserves that are below 40 per cent of full level. The lowest deficit is in Telangana, where the two reservoirs (not counting combined projects with Andhra Pradesh) are 62 per cent below normal. Tamil Nadu’s six reservoirs are 55 per cent below normal.

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National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) conduct rescue operation at a flooded area at Sangalwadi village in Sangli. (PTI Photo)

As in the Western region, Northern India’s six reservoirs, at 69 per cent of their total live storage capacity (12.4 BCM of 18.01 BCM), too, have exceeded the corresponding storage at this time last year (39 per cent) as well as the 10-year average for this stage of the monsoon (56 per cent).

In Central India, the 14 reservoirs are at 19.13 BCM, or 44 per cent of total live capacity (43.11 BCM), which is better than last year’s corresponding status (42 per cent) but lower than the 10-year average for this period (49 per cent). With less than two months of the monsoon season remaining, Uttar Pradesh’s reservoirs are at 54 per cent below normal.

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Sardar Sarovar reservoir. (Express Photo: Javed Raja)

In the Eastern region, the 16 reservoirs are at 6.09 BCM, or 32 per cent of total live capacity (18.83 BCM), which is lower than last year’s corresponding status (47 per cent) as well as the 10-year average for this period (39 per cent).