WITH almost the entire state experiencing very heavy rainfall in the first 10 days of this month, 205 major dams in the state have an average 72 per cent of their capacity full on Monday. These dams, including Sardar Sarovar, have a gross storage of around 18,100 million cubic metre (mcm) with 42 of these reservoirs overflowing, according to the Narmada, Water Resources and Water Supply department of Gujarat.
Overall, 53 dams in the state were filled up more than 90 per cent of their storage capacity and were therefore put on high alert. Nine others were filled up between 80 and 90 per cent and were also put on alert. Warning had been issued for five other dams after storage went beyond 70 per cent of their capacity.
South Gujarat, which has already received more than 100 per cent of its average rainfall, tops the chart with its 13 dams having filled average 79.68 per cent. These dams have a cumulative gross storage capacity of 8,624.74 mcm and they have already received 6,872 mcm by Monday. In fact, out of 13 dams, nine are filled up to their capacity. They include Dholi, Baldeva and Pigut in Bharuch district, Chopadvav and Kakdi-Amba in Narmada district, and Jhuj and Kelia in Navsari. Sardar Sarovar, popularly called Narmada dam was also filled up to 77.49 per cent, holding 7,330 mcm water even as Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited has been discharging water from the dam intermittently to maintain the rule level in the state’s biggest reservoir.
The 15 districts of central and south Gujarat region account for only 25 per cent of geographical area of the state but they cumulatively hold 69 per cent water resources of the state. Besides Narmada dam, the south Gujarat region has large reservoirs like Ukai, which is filled 81 per cent, Karjan, Damanganga etc. In Central Gujarat, 17 dams have 88 per cent water which is higher than south Gujarat region in terms of percentage of gross storage against designed storage capacity of reservoirs. Seven of these dams, including Wanakbori in Mahisagar dam and Patadungari, Machchhanala, Kabutari, Umaria, Kali-II in Dahod district, were overflowing. But these 17 reservoirs have designed gross storage capacity of 2,347 mcm only and against it, the storage on Monday stood at 2,066 mm, around one-fourth of storage in south Gujarat region.
However, the biggest relief for the government has come from Saurashtra and Kutch, the twin regions which had faced a drought last year and were running very high rain deficits till last week. Thanks to widespread very heavy to extremely heavy rain last week, the 11 districts of Saurasthra received 75 per cent rainfall by Sunday, data available with the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority show. Following the rain bounty, 17 of the 139 dams in the water-starved region were overflowing on Monday. They included six in Rajkot district, five in Morbi, three in Surendrangar and three in Jamnagar.
Machhu-I and II, Demi-I and II in Morbi district; Lalpari, Khodapipar and Veri in Rajkot district; Kankavati, Phophal-II and Und-III in Jamnagar; and Dholidhaja, Triveni Thanga, Saburi and Vansal in Surendranagar were filled up to their capacity. Utavadi dam in Botad was also overflowing. Shetrunji, the largest reservoirs of the region, was filled up 34 per cent, while Bhadar, the second largest dam of Saurashtra was filled up about 45 per cent. More importantly, Aji-I and Nyari-I, the twin dams which are local sources of drinking water for around 15 lakh residents of Rajkot city, were 60 per cent full. Overall, the 137 dams have storage of 1,258 mcm or around 50 per cent of their designed storage capacity.
Saurashtra accounts for 33 per cent of geographical areas of the state, but has only 17 per cent water resources. Kutch too has nine of its 20 dams overflowing as the semi-arid district was lashed by very heavy rainfall over the weekend. The district received 101.44 per per cent of its average rainfall as of Monday and dams like Godhatad, Sanandro, Nara, Mathal, Suvi, Beraichia, Gajansar, Mitti etc were overflowing on Monday. The 20 dams had total storage of 190 mcm and thus were filled up 57 per cent. The border district makes up 22 per cent of geographical expanse of Gujarat but has only three per cent water resources of the state. But dams in north Gujarat are still waiting for their fill. None of the 15 dams in the region was full as of Monday. Dharoi, among the largest reservoirs in north Gujarat and located in Mehsana district, has 21.73 per cent storage. Meshwo and Lank in Aravalli district had 65.74 and 62.60 per cent storage respectively. This region accounts for 20 per cent of geographical area of Gujarat but has only 11 per cent resources of the state.