Centre issues drought advisory to southern, western States

With water storage in dams dropping to a “critical” level, the Centre has issued a “drought advisory” to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, asking them to use water judiciously.

With water storage in dams dropping to a “critical” level, the Centre has issued a “drought advisory” to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, asking them to use water judiciously.

The advisory was issued to Tamil Nadu on Friday and similar cautionary letters were sent to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana late last week, SK Haldar, a member of the Central Water Commission (CWC), said. The drought advisory is issued to States where the water level in reservoirs is 20 per cent less than the average of live water storage figures of the past 10 years. The CWC monitors water storage available in 91 major reservoirs across the country.

According to the figures released on Thursday, the total water storage available was 35.99 billion cubic metres (BCM), which is 22 per cent of the total storage capacity of these reservoirs. The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 161.993 BCM.

The figure was at 24 per cent for the week ended May 9. The situation seems to be grim in the western and southern parts of the country.

There are 27 reservoirs — 10 in Gujarat and 17 in Maharashtra — under CWC monitoring, with a total live storage capacity of 31.26 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 4.10 BCM until May 16, which is 13 per cent of the total live storage capacity.

In the southern region, there are 31 reservoirs under CWC monitoring, with a total live storage capacity of 51.59 BCM. “The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 6.86 BCM — 13 per cent of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs,” the CWC said.