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Water levels in 91 major reservoirs alarmingly low

Central Water Commission data on live storage show that only 23 per cent of capacity is available, and this is well below last year.

April 15, 2016 05:14 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:33 pm IST - New Delhi

Four reservoirs – three in Maharashtra and one in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – are left with no water at the moment.

Four reservoirs – three in Maharashtra and one in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – are left with no water at the moment.

Water levels in major reservoirs of the country are alarmingly low, weekly data released by Central Water Commission (CWC) shows.

CWC, a technical organisation under the aegis of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, monitors live storage status of 91 major reservoirs in the country.

Live storage

Live storage capacity of these reservoirs is 157.799 BCM (Billion Cubic Meters), which is 62 per cent of the live storage capacity that is estimated to have been created in India.

‘Live storage’ is the portion of the reservoir that can be utilised for flood control, power production, navigation and downstream releases.

As per the latest report released on April 13, 2016, live storage available in these reservoirs is 35.839 BCM, which is 23 per cent of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

The report states that current storage is 67 per cent of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 77 per cent of storage of average of last ten years.

Experts attribute the depleting water levels in reservoirs to two years of poor rainfall in the country.

On Tuesday, Indian meteorological department announced that monsoon in 2016 was likely to be ‘above normal’, which may increase the water levels.

The western and southern regions are the most affected. The live storage level in 27 reservoirs of the western region, which includes Maharashtra and Gujarat, is a mere 18 per cent, compared to 36 per cent last year.

‘Southern region worst hit’ In the southern region, the situation is even worse, with water levels at 15 per cent of the total live storage capacity in 31 reservoirs of this region. In fact, four reservoirs – three in Maharashtra and one in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana (combined project in both States) – are left with no water at the moment.

The central and eastern regions have storage levels greater than 30 per cent, better than the national average.

Overall, 74 of the total 91 reservoirs have storage levels lower than the average of last ten years. Looking at States, apart from West Bengal, Tripura and Madhya Pradesh, all other 16 States housing these reservoirs have below normal storage levels.

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