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

The Economic Times - - Com­pa­nies - Mad­hvi.Sally@ times­group.com

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

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