The level of water in important reservoirs of the country, except those in the south, is more than what is expected at this point of time of the year. With the arrival of Monsoon, these reservoirs are expected to get a fresh infusion of water from the rain. The Indian Express reports that 91 big reservoirs of the country hold a total of 35.053 billion cubic metres of water, which is about 10% more than what is expected at this time of the year. The report based on the latest data of Central Water Commission says the present level of water is also 27 per cent more that the storage at this point of time last year.
The weather department has predicted a normal monsoon, which will expectedly fill the reservoirs up to a healthy level in the next few weeks. Several parts of the country, mostly in the south, have already started receiving rainfall. The early rain will help fill big reservoirs in the basins of Krishna, Cauvery and other east-flowing rivers, which do not have much water now. According to IE report, the reservoirs in these basins in south India are deficient by 75% at present as compared to the normal levels in the corresponding time last year.
Water of these reservoirs are used for irrigation, hydropower generation and for drinking water supply. The Monsoon season, which continues for around four months, accounts for about 75 per cent of India’s annual rainfall and it is crucial to replenishing the reservoirs.
Out of the 91 big reservoirs, 31 are in five southern states with the total capacity of about 158 billion cubic metres. This is more than 60 per cent of the total capacity in all the reservoirs in the country put together, according to IE.
At present, 80 of the 91 reservoirs are filled up to 40% of their respective capacities. This level is considered normal ahead of the onset of Monsoon by experts. Two reservoirs in the country — Sardar Sarovar Gujarat and Gerusoppa in Karnataka — are more than 70 per cent full. As many as 38 reservoirs have storage over their normal levels, while 47 of them have storage more than last year at this point in time.
According to the report, better than normal storage is in the reservoirs located in the basins of Narmada, Mahi, Ganga, Sabarmati, Godavari, Tapi and Mahanadi, while those in the Indus and west flowing rivers of the south have normal water levels.
Between, June to September, India is expected to receive rainfall, which is 96 per cent of the average annual rainfall between the period 1961 and 2011, reports IE.