Water in major reservoirs up 30%, but North lags behind

CHANDIGARH: Overall water storage in major reservoirs in the country is around 30% higher this year as compared to 2017 while water availability is lower by 10-12% in the northern region vis-à-vis last year.

editorial@tribune.com

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16

Overall water storage in major reservoirs in the country is around 30% higher this year as compared to 2017 while water availability is lower by 10-12% in the northern region vis-à-vis last year.

Stating this during his visit to the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) today to launch a website on the First International Conference on Sustainable Water Management scheduled to be held here in December, UP Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, said rainfall distribution this year has been good and it would be beneficial for the cropping season.

“Out of the over 5,000 reservoirs in the country, the Ministry regularly monitors 91 major reservoirs that account for two-thirds of the total national storage capacity. The overall storage in these is not only more than the previous year but also better that the last 10 years’ average. While dams in the South and other parts are full, the situation is not so in the North,” he added.

At present, 121.655 billion cubic meters (BCM) of water is available in these reservoirs as compared to 92.878 BCM last year and the past 10 years live storage average of 109.688 BCM. In the northern region comprising Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, the present storage is 77% of the total live storage of 18.01 BCM. It was 86% last year and an average of 82% over the past 10 years.

BBMB Chairman DK Sharma said the water storage situation in North had become critical this year due to historically low inflow during the summer, which was around 50% of the inflow last year.

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