Delayed monsoon a worry, Gujarat worst affected

ANJALI MARAR
With the Southwest monsoon expected to hit Kerala late on June 6 and its northward progression to be delayed, western India s water woes are likely to go on for yet another month or more. (Express photo by Amit Chakravarty)

The water situation in the northwestern regions of the country, especially Gujarat and Maharashtra, is grim this summer, as many dams have reached dead stock, while total available water reserves have dwindled below May 2018 levels.

With the Southwest monsoon expected to hit Kerala late on June 6 and its northward progression to be delayed, western India s water woes are likely to go on for yet another month or more.

In Gujarat all 10 reservoirs are showing a downward trend in water levels this year as on May 16. According to the latest report on live storage of reservoirs in India, issued by Central Water Commission (CWC), Gujarat faces a deficiency of 33 per cent as far as water reserves in its reservoirs are concerned.

The reservoir basin-wise stocks are most deficient in that of Sabarmati, which flows through Gujarat, apart from those on the southern rivers of Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery. Drought advisories were sent to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana late last week, CWC member S K Haldar,, said.

The drought advisory is issued to states when the water level in reservoirs is 20 per cent less than the average of live water storage figures of the past 10 years.

The advisory recommends that states use water only for the purpose of drinking until the dams are replenished.

The CWC monitors water storage available in 91 major reservoirs across the country.

The western region includes Gujarat and Maharashtra. There are 27 reservoirs – 10 in Gujarat and 17 in Maharashtra – under CWC monitoring having 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 just 13 per cent of total live storage capacity.

The storage in 27 reservoirs of these two states during the corresponding period of last year was 18 per cent and the average storage of the past 10 years was 22 per cent.

(With PTI inputs)