Water reserves higher, but narrow lead

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New Delhi | Published: July 24, 2015 12:11:54 AM

The country's water storage was 15% higher than a year before until Thursday, but it further narrowed its lead over the benchmark 10-year average...

The country’s water storage was 15% higher than a year before until Thursday, but it further narrowed its lead over the benchmark 10-year average to 8% from as high as 45% until July 2, as the country witnessed deficient rainfall in July. Monsoon showers, having crossed the long-period average (LPA) by 28% up to June 25, have since lost intensity to fall 6% from the benchmark average as of July 23.

The storage across 91 water reservoirs touched 58.59 billion cubic metres (bcm) up to Thursday, against 50.77 bcm a year earlier and the normal 10-year average of 54.20 bcm, according to the data compiled by the ministry of water resources. The current reserves are 37% of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs, compared with 34% a year earlier. Last year, the water level was even lower than the normal level due to wide-spread dry-spells initially, following a 25% drop in seasonal showers from the LPA between June 1 to July 23.

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In the current monsoon season (June-September), the quantum of rainfall has been 350.3 millimetres until Thursday, down from the LPA for the period of 376.3 millimetres, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Monsoon showers were 16% above the LPA by the end of June.

Since water reserves are above the normal level and monsoon rains just below the normal range of 96-104% of the LPA, the sowing activity is unlikely to be hit unless monsoon rains flags significantly in the coming days. Helped by good rainfall last month and water reserves, the sowing of summer crops surged 63% by July 17 from a year before. However, risks to sowing remains.

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