CWC Sends Advisories to States as Water Level in Dams Plunges
Water supply for drinking, irrigation& power generation set to take a big hit as reservoirs dry up
New Delhi: The Central Water Commission, which monitors water level in major reservoirs across the country, has issued an advisory for state governments on judicious use of water for irrigation, drinking and industrial purposes. This follows the fall in water level in India’s major dams to less than 23% of their combined capacity, well short of the 10-year average, on April 13.
The situation is particularly serious in the southern, western and central states, where supply for drinking, irrigation and power generation could be hit.
“We have sent advisories to states on judicious use of water in the coming months. News of the country to receive above normal rains is good, but there is still time for the monsoon season to set in,” said GS Jha, chairman of the Central Water Commission.
He said in the next 10 days the commission will be submitting a report to the water resources minister Uma Bharti on drought prone regions of the country and solutions to mitigate the problem. Jha said that consumers will get some respite by June when monsoon onset takes place.
On Wednesday, the water level was 33% less than that last year and 23% less than the10-year average, an official from CWC.
Total live storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 157.799 billion cubic metres and till April 13, the storage available in these reservoirs was 35.839 bcm. A year ago, the 91 reservoirs held 53.586 bcm of water while the 10-year average is 46.724 bcm. The CWC has said that the most deficient river basin is the Krishna, which caters to Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, where the water level has fallen 64% below the 10-year average. The Tapi river basin, originating in Madhya Pradesh and flowing to Maharashtra and Gujarat, is 60% below average. Water level in the Mahi, Cauvery and Godavari basin is also below normal at 41%, 36% and 32% respectively.
For the past four weeks, reservoirs from Nagarjuna Sagar, Bhima (Ujjani), Jayakwadi and Girna have had no water. However, in Pong dam, which provides water for irrigation and power generation to Punjab the water level was at half of its normal capacity. Similarly, the Pench dam, which provides water for irrigation and supplies water to two districts of Maharashtra, Nagpur and Bhandara, had storage up to 48% of the normal storage capacity.
The agro division of the India Meteorological department has advised farmers to undertake harvesting of matured crops immediately and keep harvested produce at safer places.
In its weekly agromet advisory it has said that farmers in Uttar Pradesh should continue sowing of maize and pulses like cowpea, urad and moong. In Bihar, it advised sowing of summer maize and vegetables, while in Jharkhand, it said sowing of green gram/ black gram, maize and vegetables should continue. In the hilly region of WB, the weather office advised farmers to continue planting of ginger and turmeric. In parts of Odisha it advised farmers to continue land preparation and sowing of summer sunflower and groundnut.
Agro division of IMD has advised farmers to undertake harvesting of matured crops immediately and keep harvested produce at safer places