NEW DELHI: Dry days look ahead for the southern states as water level in 31 reservoirs in the region, whose water is used for drinking, electricity generation and irrigation, is only 17 percent of the total storage capacity. The figure is the lowest among other four regions in the country.
The low level of reservoirs is a cause of concerns with summer approaching and parts of Maharashtra and Bundelkhand already reeling under acute water crisis.
According to the Government figures, the water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on March 31, 2016 was 39.651 BCM (billion cubic metres) which is 25 percent of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This was 69 percent of the storage of corresponding period of last year.
The Southern region includes Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. There are 31 reservoirs under Central Water Commission (CWC) monitoring having total live storage capacity of 51.59 BCM.
The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 8.62 BCM which is 17 percent of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 26 percent and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 29 percent of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.
“Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period,” said the data issued by the government.
Meanwhile, a PIL was filed in the Mumbai high court saying that while Maharashtra is facing water shortage, nearly 60 lakh litres of water is needed to maintain pitches at three stadiums in the state which will hold IPL matches.
States having lesser storage than last year for corresponding period are Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
The condition of water storage in other regions is also less this year compared to previous year. Northern region with 6 reservoirs is 25 percent of total capacity, while it was 32 percent last year. Eastern region with 15 reservoirs is filled 38 percent of total live storage capacity which was 49 percent last year.
In Western region with 27 reservoirs, the live storage available is 21 percent of the capacity which was 40 percent last year. Central region with 12 reservoirs has 32 percent of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs compared to 42 percent last year.