Reservoirs in North crave for monsoon

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 28 2009, 04:14am hrs
Indias southwest monsoon, crucial for the livelihood for millions of farmers, is slowly showing signs of revival in western, southern and central parts after being almost less than half of the normal rains in June.

But, it is the northwestern part of the country, comprising of major foodgrain and oilseeds growing states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir that is causing concern for all.

As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD) latest forecastreleased on June 24southwest monsoon in this agriculturally crucial part will be 81% of the Long

Period Average (LPA) for the whole of 2009.

Experts interpret this as signs that unless monsoon rains lash these parts in July and Augustwhich has already started in some areaslarge parts of this region might not get significantly good rainfall in the whole of 2009. This could affect the water level in many big reservoirs in north western India, which have already reached a critical level, following poor rains in June.

As per the latest data, released by the Central Water Commission (CWC), water levels in Gobind Sagar reservoir is just around 9% of live capacity at full storage level (FRL) of 6.229 billion cubic meters as on June 26, last year during the same time, water levels in Gobind Sagar were around 44% at live capacity at FRL.

Storage levels in Pong Dam in Himachal Pradesh is at around 5% at FRL of 6.157 billion cubic meters on June 26, while during the same period last year, it was at around 22% at FRL. Levels in Thein Reservoir in Punjab is 28% at FRL, while during the same period last year it was around 55% at FRL.

Water level in Jhakam reservoir in Rajasthan was at around 8% at FRL as on June 26, last year during the same period, water level was at 3%. Jhakams live capacity at full capacity level was at around 0.132 billion cubic meters.

Water in Rana Pratap Sagar Reservoir, which is also in Rajasthan stood at around 23% at FRL as on June 26, while during the same period last year, water level was at 55% of live capacity at FRL.

Across the country, water level in 81 major reservoirs was at 9% of live capacity at FRL as on June 26, while during the same time last year levels were at around 21% at FRL. The IMD on Wednesday lowered its southwest monsoon forecast for 2009 to 93% of Long Period Average for the entire country from the earlier 96% of LPA announced in June and also came out with regionwise break-up of likely monsoons performance this year.