NEW DELHI :
Inching closer to its end, the southwest monsoon continues to remain “vigorous" in central India and parts of the west coast, adding to rising levels of water stored in reservoirs across most of the country.
As per the latest report of the Central Water Commission (CWC), the live storage available in the 113 reservoirs monitored by it has increased to 144.179 billion cubic metres (BCM), which is 85% of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs.
The storage is around 26.5BCM higher than what was available last year in September and 24.25BCM higher than the average of the last 10 years. As many as 55 reservoirs have more storage than last year and 85 have storage higher than the average of last 10 years.
The ongoing monsoon conditions over central India and states along the west coast have led to rising water levels in many of the rivers contributing to higher storage. These rivers include the Indus, Narmada, Tapi, Mahi, rivers of Kutch, Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery and the east-flowing rivers of Ganga and Mahanadi.
Excess rains over Madhya Pradesh over the past 10 days have led to heavy releases from various dams in Chambal and Betwa basins, and river Yamuna is rising all along its course from the confluence of Chambal up to Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.
“The monsoon is not over yet, so we need to be careful. Parts of the country are still receiving widespread rains. Ganga, Yamuna have breached their danger marks at some places. So, better planning is needed to ensure that these dams do not become reason for flooding, if monsoon maintains its strength over the next week," said Himanshu Thakkar, who leads the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People, a network of organizations and experts working on water issues.
As per CWC, the highest storage has been recorded in the eight reservoirs of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan, where the current storage is nearly 91% of total live storage capacity.
The 39 reservoirs in the western division comprising Gujarat and Maharashtra have a live storage of 28.59BCM, against their capacity of 33.94BCM. Both the states have received excess rains this monsoon season, which was 31% above normal.
The monsoon rains have augured well for the southern states as well, where 33 reservoirs located in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have recorded storage of up to 41.9BCM. Their total storage capacity is nearly 52.58BCM.
With the monsoon likely to remain active over the next week as per India Meteorological Department forecasts, storage levels could improve further.
Normally, the southwest monsoon begins to retreat from West Rajasthan around 1 September. However it has so far showed no signs of withdrawal. “There should be cessation of rains for the withdrawal to begin. We are monitoring it continuously," said Sathi Devi, Head, National Weather Forecasting Centre, IMD, New Delhi.