NEW DELHI: The low water levels in 85 important reservoirs in the country continues to remain a source of worry with a rain deficit of 25 per cent so far and water storage levels far less than last year.
The water from these reservoirs are meant to ensure drinking water supply, irrigation and power generation in the respective states. According to the Union Water Resources Ministry, the water storage available in the 85 reservoirs as on July 24 was 54.501 BCM (billion cubic metre) which is 35 per cent of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This storage is 69 per cent of the storage during the corresponding period last year, when monsoon rainfall was surplus across the country.
The poor storage of water in reservoirs is due to less monsoon rainfall so far this year, but officials are hopeful that the situation willimprove once the rains pick up in August.
“These reservoirs get water during monsoon season from June-September. But the rainfall in June this year was scanty in most parts of the country. Monsoon is slowly picking up with deficit coming down to 25 per cent this week from 42 per cent in the first week of July,” said a senior official from the Ministry of Water Resources. There are only three states – Punjab, Odisha and Chhattisgarh – which have more water in store this year than last. Fourteen states – Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu – have less in store.
Of the five regions, the water storage situation in Western Region – Gujarat and Maharashtra and Southern Region – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu – is less than the average storage in the last 10 years.