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Another drought coming? Reservoirs running dry; southern states fare worse

At 38%, the level of water in reservoirs of South India the lowest among the five regions; the situation is better in East India, but not as good as last year

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

Tamil Nadu drought
A fish vendor walks on the parched bed of Chembarambakkam Reservoir near Chennai.

The southern states of India suffered one of their worst years of last summer. With the recent hardly favourable, these states stare at another tough year this time. The storage level at in the region has dropped to 38 per cent, the lowest among the five regions of the country, show latest data. According to the ministry numbers, despite having the highest level of storage among the regions, the level of water storage in the eastern region is lower than last year. The water storage level at 91 major of the country for the week ended January 25 was 73.029 BCM, or 45 per cent of the total storage capacity.

This had been two percentage points higher at 47 per cent for the week ended January 18. The level of water storage in the January 25 week was 91 per cent of the storage in the corresponding period last year. The total storage capacity of these 91 is 161.993 BCM, which is about 63 per cent of the total storage capacity of 257.812 BCM estimated to have been created in the country. Among the five regions, the Southern Region – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, AP&TG (Two combined projects in both states), Karnataka, Kerala and – has the lowest capacity. There are 31 in the southern region under the (CWC) monitoring, with a total live storage capacity of 51.59 BCM. The total live storage available in these is 19.53 BCM, which is 38 per cent of total live storage capacity of these The only piece of good news at present is that the storage during the corresponding period of last year was 29 per cent. The average storage of last 10 years for the corresponding period was 46 per cent of live storage capacity of these In the northern region, which includes Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan, there are six under the CWC monitoring with a total live storage capacity of 18.01 BCM. The total live storage available in these is 7.91 BCM, which is 44 per cent of the total live storage capacity of these The storage in these during the corresponding period last year was 39 per cent, and the average storage of last 10 years for the corresponding period was 45 per cent of live storage capacity of these The storage during current year is better than the corresponding period last year, but less than the average storage of last 10 years. In the eastern region (Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura) there are 15 under the CWC monitoring with a total live storage capacity of 18.83 BCM. The total live storage available in these is 12.56 BCM, which is 67 per cent of the total live storage capacity of these The storage during the corresponding period last year was 73 per cent, and the average for the past 10 years during the corresponding period has been 61 per cent of live storage capacity for these So, the storage during the current year is less than the corresponding period of last year but better than the average storage of last 10 years. The western region (Gujarat and Maharashtra) has 27 under the CWC monitoring, with a total live storage capacity of 31.26 BCM. The total live storage available in these is 14.70 BCM, which is 47 per cent of the total live storage capacity of these The storage during the corresponding period last year was 55 per cent and the average storage of last 10 years during the corresponding period was 51 per cent of live storage capacity of these So, the storage during the current year is less than the storage of last year as well as the average storage of last 10 years. The central region, which includes Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, has 12 under the CWC monitoring with a total live storage capacity of 42.30 BCM. The total live storage available in these at present is 18.34 BCM, which is 43 per cent of the total live storage capacity of these The storage during the corresponding period last year was 65 per cent and the average storage of last 10 years during the corresponding period was 49 per cent of live storage capacity of these So, the storage during the current year is less than the storage of last year and also than the average storage of last 10 years during the corresponding period.

First Published: Tue, January 30 2018. 07:40 IST
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