Water, water, everywhere

The monsoon’s substantial recovery means India’s reservoirs are steadily filling up

Despite a monsoon that still remains slightly deficient, and concerns over depleting groundwater, the amount of water in India’s reservoirs has steadily increased over the past 10 weeks. The Central Water Commission releases weekly updates on how full the 85 main reservoirs in the country are. At present, they are 77% full.

This is a tremendous improvement over the scenario 10 weeks ago, when the reservoirs were only 24% full. There has been a steady improvement in the water level in these reservoirs from 10 July to 11 September (see graph). Currently, the water level in the reservoirs is nearly 93% of last year’s storage and 108% of the average of the last 10 years.

This filling up of the reservoirs is largely due to the recovery of this year’s monsoon. The week beginning 8 September saw rainfall that was 64% above average, according to the India Meteorological Department. At the beginning of July, the Met had predicted that this year’s monsoon would be an alarming 41% deficient. However, this number has since been revised downwards, with the latest figures showing a deficiency of only 11% on 11 September.