Water levels fall below normal in 14 Indian states

Water levels in India’s 150 largest reservoirs fell below 70 percent of their capacity, while reservoirs in 14 states fell below normal this week.  As of Thursday (November 9), the storage of the largest reservoirs was 124.124 billion cubic meters (BCM), or 69 percent of the usable volume of 178.784 billion cubic meters, according to the weekly bulletin of the Central Water Commission on Water Resources. The level is lower than last year and the average of the last 10 years. Last week, the capacity of the warehouse was 71 percent. The reason for the decline in stock levels is insufficient August rainfall of -32 percent and poor monsoon rains. According to the India Meteorological Department, 64 percent of the 712 districts for which data is available received no or insufficient rainfall. Poor monsoon rains and falling water levels in reservoirs can affect the production of rabies, especially wheat, rice, mustard, and gram (chana).   

  Gujarat, an exception     

The data showed that conservation is a concern in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh among the 14 states with below-normal water levels. Gujarat is one state that appears to have plenty of water, with storage levels 31 percent above normal.  Also,  15 reservoirs in the country have up to 50 percent of normal storage, while 105 reservoirs have 80 percent or more.  Similar to last week, the water level in the southern region remained below 45 percent of the norm at 44 percent. In 12 of the 42 reservoirs of the region, the level is below 40 percent of the normal reservoir, and in 8 regions it is 40-50 percent.  

  The effect of El Nino   

  Part of the reason for this year’s lack of rain is the onset of El Nino, which resulted in the lowest August rainfall since 1901.  October rainfall was the sixth lowest since 1901.   According to the European Meteorological Agency Copernicus, January-October this year was the warmest on record. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the US weather agency, said at least 21 percent of India is under drought till the end of September.

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