The storage level in India’s 150 major reservoirs declined a tad and remained lower than the last 10 years’ average with 63 per cent of the 712 districts in the country receiving deficient or no rainfall.
The Central Water Commission (CWC) said in its weekly bulletin on Thursday that the live storage in the reservoirs was 132.037 billion cubic metres (BCM) against 132.721 BCM last week. Despite the marginal dip, the storage was 74 per cent of the capacity both weeks.
The CWC said the level was 8 percentage points less than a year ago and 20 percentage points lower than the last 10 years’ average.
TN remains a concern
The water level in South India continued to be a cause for concern with the storage dropping to 49 per cent of the capacity from 50 per cent last week. It was 26.021 BCM on Thursday against 26.435 BCM a week ago.
Among the southern States, the storage in Tamil Nadu continued to be 62 per cent below normal — the highest in the country — while it remained unchanged at 49 per cent lower than normal in Andhra Pradesh and at 29 per cent lower than normal in Karnataka.
However, the situation improved in Kerala. But the water level was 24 per cent below normal against 26 per cent below normal a week ago.
In the reservoirs common for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the water level declined to 61 per cent below normal from 60 per cent, CWC data showed.
Punjab level down
The storage has declined in northern parts of the country to 82.3 per cent of the capacity against 84 per cent a week ago. However, it is 0.3 percentage point higher than the last 10 year’s average. In the North, the water level in Punjab has declined to 15 per cent below normal compared with 13 per cent a week ago.
In the eastern parts, the water level has increased by 2 percentage points to 80 per cent of normal with the storage in West Bengal improving to 20 per cent above normal from 9 per cent a week ago.
The storage in the western region was almost unchanged at 89 per cent of the normal, though the water level in Maharashtra has declined to 3 per cent below normal from 2 per cent a week ago.
The water level in the central region was also static at 84 per cent of the capacity with the storage in Madhya Pradesh remaining at 6 per cent above normal. In Uttar Pradesh, the level was 29 per cent below normal compared with 33 per cent a week ago.
According to CWC, the water level in 114 reservoirs has been reported over 80 per cent of normal storage this week (108 last week). The level in 36 others was 80 per cent or below (42), with 11 of them having storage up to 50 per cent only. (12).
Aliyar (18% of normal), Mettur (15 per cent), Nagarjuna Sagar (23 per cent), Tattihalla (26 per cent), Kandaleru (37 per cent), Krishnaraja Sagara (44 per cent) and Somasila (47 per cent) are the reservoirs in the South where the situation is a little dicey.
The delay in the onset of the North-East Monsoon by 10 days could cause concern but the Indian Meteorological Department has said the monsoon will have normal to excess rainfall. The monsoon usually sets in by October 18.
Global models have forecast good rainfall in peninsular India during the North-West monsoon in view of a strengthening Indian Ocean Dipole.