Water Level Crisis 2024: Reservoirs Plummet to 35% Capacity

Water level crisis city like Cities like Bengaluru have been grappling with water shortage, which can be attributed to rain deficiency a decline in reservoir level and the loss of take due to rapid urbanization. Water levels in India’s 150 major reservoirs have dropped to 35 % of their total capacity, particularly in the south where six have gone dry and levels in another 20 are in the single digit.

In last year monsoon, a decline in reservoir level, and the loss of lakes due to rapid urbanization, in the cities like Bengaluru that have been grappling with water shortage which can be attributed to rain deficiency. The country is attributed to lower rainfall caused by the EI Nino weather phenomenon, resulting in drought and prolonged dry spells in Asia as the Pacific Ocean warned as the countries depleting water level. In March, as many as 18 sates in the country have witnessed rain deficiency or no rainfall. The country has received 8% below normal rainfall since march, as per the IMD (India Meteorological Department).

As stated by the central water commission (CWC) according to the data, the availability water level this week in these reservoirs was 61.801 billion cubic meter (BCM), 17% lower than the corresponding period last year i.e. 2023 when it was 74.47 BMC and 2% lower than the average of last 10 years (63.095 BCM). The live storage available in 150 reservoirs as of Thursday was 83 % of the live storage of the corresponding period of the previous year and 98% of storage of average of the 10 past years.

The weather bureau has warned that most regions of the country will witness above normal temperature during April to June. this forecast, coupled with drying water reservoirs, has agriculture prompted economists warn of an adverse impact on the current rabi crop, especially in southern regions as well as summer crops, especially in southern regions, as well as summer crops in UP, Bihar, west Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

The lower reservoir levels are estimated to have an adverse impact on the current rabi crops especially in the state of Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu where farmers have reportedly witnessed wilting in case of pulses like Bengal gram and shriveling of grains and cobs in case of paddy and maize respectively. In northern sates like UP and Bihar, lower temperature are estimated to have adversely impacted wheat and mustard yields. Said by Pushan Sharma, Director Research, CRISIL market Intelligence and Analytics.

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As per Sharma, “In the near term, owing to a prediction of high temperatures over an extended period, summer crop sowing which largely comprises cereals like bajra and maize, pulse like moong and vegetables like cucurbits and melons and vegetables like cucurbits and melons are expected to be negatively impacted following lower reservoir levels across key sates like UP, Bihar, West Bengal, AP, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh. In southern regions is turning worrisome as the storage in the 42 reservoirs dropped further to 22% of the 53.334 BMC. During the same period a year ago, the level was 34% of the capacity and 28% of the 10 years average as per the CWC’s latest bulletin issued on Thursday.

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The storage during corresponding period of last year was 47% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 39 %. Available water in the 26 reservoirs of the central region was at 20.185 BMC, 43% of total live storage capacity at 48.227 BMC. “Despite an increase in irrigation intensity, and agriculture GVA growth in December quarter of 2023-2024.

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