Water reserves well stocked

By: |
New Delhi | Published: July 3, 2015 1:41:51 AM

Water reserves across the country surged 29% until Thursday from a year before and remained 45% higher than a benchmark 10-year average...

According to the data compiled by the ministry of water resources, water storage across 91 reservoirs touched 48.51 billion cubic metres (bcm) up to Thursday. (Reuters)According to the data compiled by the ministry of water resources, water storage across 91 reservoirs touched 48.51 billion cubic metres (bcm) up to Thursday. (Reuters)

Water reserves across the country surged 29% until Thursday from a year before and remained 45% higher than a
benchmark 10-year average, brightening the sowing prospects of various summer crops, although seasonal shower seems to have lost some momentum over the past week, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi.

According to the data compiled by the ministry of water resources, water storage across 91 reservoirs touched 48.51 billion cubic metres (bcm) up to Thursday, compared with 37.62 bcm a year earlier and the normal 10-year average of 33.46 bcm. The current reserves are 31% of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs, while at the same time last year, the storage was at 24% of capacity.

However, having received a 28% above-normal rainfall between June 1 and 25, the country witnessed a percentage drop in the excess rainfall consistently until Thursday. Still, seasonal showers — which covered the entire country on June 26, more than two weeks ahead of schedule — were 10% higher than the benchmark long-period average (LPA) up to July 2. The country received a 16% higher-than-normal rainfall in June. Buoyed by good showers and water reserves, the sowing of summer crops — which was down by 7.4% up to June 19 — not just erased the deficit but surged 23.4% until June 26 from a year earlier.

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The Met department has predicted that the rainfall over the country is likely to be 92% of the LPA during July and 90% of the LPA in August. The LPA is calculated on the basis of the average annual rainfall recorded between 1951 and 2000 (89 cm) for the the June to September period.

The quantum of rainfall during the June 1-July 2 period has been 198.3 millimetres, compared with the LPA for the period of 180.7 millimetres, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). With the exception of Bihar, all regions of the country have received normal or excess rainfall until now, according to IMD data.

However, predicting a revival of monsoon rains, private weather forecaster Skymet has noted that “there are four periods of rainfall which are spaced out from July 5 to 8, July 14 to 17, from July 23-26 and one overlapping July 30 and August 2”.

While June rainfall constitute 18% of the total rainfall received during the June-September period, the showers during July (33%) and August (29%) are critical for the agricultural sector.

Trilochan Mohapatra, director, Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), a key body under the ministry of agriculture, told FE that the June rains have been encouraging and the rains across the key paddy growing areas during July and August would be critical for rice cultivation.

The IMD last month had revised downward its forecast of seasonal rainfall (June-September) for this year to 88% of the LPA, from 93% reported in April. However Skymet, has predicted a normal monsoon, with showers at 102% of the LPA.

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