Water levels in dams improve, but still below last year
The India Meteorological Department has predicted strong rains until August 14, which could improve the water situation.
These dams together held 59.366 billion cubic metres of water on Thursday, compared with 68.454 bcm at this time last year and the 10-year average of 63.128 bcm, according to data from the Central Water Commission. Last week, the storage was 54.419 bcm.
The India Meteorological Department has predicted strong rains until August 14, which could improve the water situation. Rains in the week to July 27 were 4% below the average for the past 50-years.
In its extended-range forecast, the weather office forecast normal to above-normal rainfall in parts of central and northwest India on several days until mid-August. It also expects above-normal rains in southern India till the end of July and near-normal thereafter. Below-normal rains are likely in eastern India during first week of August.
This year the monsoon is expected to be above normal, following two consecutive years of deficient rainfall.
Higher water levels in the reservoirs improve the prospects of planting crops and generating electricity after the four-month monsoon season ends in September.
The western region — Gujarat and Maharashtra — have more water in their dams this year than in 2015. However, four reservoirs — three of them in Maharashtra — still don’t have water.
As many as 28 dams have water that exceeds last year’s levels, while 37 have more water than the 10-year average.
The basins of the Ganga, Narmada, Godavari and the west-flowing rivers of southern India recorded better water levels than the 10-year average. The Tapi, Mahi and Sabarmati had normal storage while the Indus, Krishna, Mahanadi and Cauvery basins had deficient storage levels. The situation was “highly deficient” in the Kutch basin.