More water stored than usual,but south is short

Total reservoir storage 22% over 10-year average at this point

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Published: June 4, 2013 12:06:18 am

The country’s major reservoirs have between them stored more water than the average of the last 10 years at this point,as the country steps into the monsoon with expectations of good rainfall.

According to last week’s data of the Central Water Commission,storage in the 85 main reservoirs,which are crucial for irrigation and power generation,was at 21 per cent of total capacity,slightly higher than what it was last year.

The total storage until May 30 was 32.193 billion cubic metres against a combined capacity of 154.877 billion cu m. The current storage is four per cent over what it was last year and 22 per cent over the 10-year average. Of the 85 reservoirs,47 have in storage more than 80 per cent of their normal levels,or the average of the last 10 years. Of the remaining,14 have more than 50 per cent.

The reservoirs in the Ganga,Indus,Narmada,Tapi,Mahi,Sabarmati,and Godavari basins have stored more than normal. Statewise,these reservoirs are in Jharkhand,West Bengal,Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh.

The Krishna basin and the rivers of Kutch and Cauvery are,however,carrying less water than normal for this time. Reservoirs in the south have levels much below last year’s; Tamil Nadu,Andhra Pradesh and Kerala’s reservoirs have 86,47 and 34 per cent less than normal. Four reservoirs in Tamil Nadu,three in Karnataka and two each in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala have less than 50 per cent of normal; the three in Karnataka and one in Tamil Nadu have zero storage.

The situation is not much better in the western region either. Four reservoirs in Maharashtra and one in Gujarat have zero storage. Overall,Gujarat’s reservoirs have stored more than normal but Maharashtra’s have 27 per cent below.

Storage levels in these important reservoirs directly affect irrigation and electricity generation. Of the 85 reservoirs,37 have power generation capabilities of 60 MW or more. According to the data,the storage level in 16 of the reservoirs with hydroelectric capabilities is below normal.

The monsoon arrived on the Kerala coast at its normal date of June 1 and the Met department has predicted normal rainfall for the four-month season.

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