27 Apr 2024

Severe Water Crisis Grips South India as Reservoir Levels Plummet to 17%

New Delhi: The southern region, comprising Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, is grappling with a severe water shortage as reservoirs dwindle to a mere 17% of their total capacity, as per the recent bulletin from the Central Water Commission (CWC).

The bulletin reveals that 42 reservoirs under CWC's surveillance in the southern region, with a combined live storage capacity of 53.334 BCM (billion cubic meters), currently hold only 8.865 BCM of water.

This alarming figure marks a significant decline compared to the same period last year (29%) and the ten-year average (23%), indicating an exacerbation of water scarcity issues. The situation poses serious challenges for irrigation, drinking water supply, and hydroelectric power generation in these states.

Eastern region shows a positive trend

Conversely, the eastern region, encompassing states like Assam, Odisha, and West Bengal, shows a positive trend with 39% of their total reservoir capacity currently filled, representing an improvement over last year and the ten-year average.

Western region shows decline from previous years

However, other regions are faring less optimally. The western region, comprising Gujarat and Maharashtra, reports storage levels of 31.7% of total capacity across 49 monitored reservoirs, a decline from previous years.

Northern and central regions also witness decreases

Similarly, the northern and central regions also witness decreases in water storage levels compared to historical averages.

The bulletin categorizes reservoir storage across various river basins as "better than normal," "close to normal," "deficient," or "highly deficient." Notably, river basins like Brahmaputra, Narmada, and Tapi are marked as having better-than-normal storage levels, while basins like Cauvery and east-flowing rivers between Mahanadi and Pennar are classified as highly deficient.

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