23 major reservoirs have deficient water levels; 18 are highly deficient

Almost 75 per cent of the monsoon season is over. By this time in the year, farmers, industries and citizens are able to start reaping the benefits of rainfall-filled reservoirs. But for the second year in a row, a normal monsoon has given India a miss.

In June this year, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had estimated that rainfall in the country would be deficient, sparking off fears of a drought. IMD’s latest press release dated August 26, 2015, stated that the cumulative rainfall received by the country since June 1 was 12 per cent below the long period average. The long period average of the country is 89 cm (1951-2000). It is unlikely that the situation will improve in the month of September.

Low rainfall has impacted reservoir levels in many places, affecting irrigation and power generation which depend on the water. Some reservoirs also provide drinking water to citizens.

The Central Water Commission (CWC), a technical wing of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, monitors the live storage status of 91 reservoirs of the country on a weekly basis. The live storage of a reservoir is defined as the portion of the reservoir water that can be used for controlling flood, production of power, navigation and downstream releases.

The monitoring reveals that until the end of August this year, reservoirs had reported a dip of 13 per cent as compared to last year (August 2014) and 12 per cent when compared to the last ten years’ average (for the same period).

To view data comparison in tables and graphs, continue reading here.

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