Water level at storage dams across the country has gone down due to scanty monsoon, adversely impacting irrigation and hydroelectric generation.
According to data by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), dated August 13, 29 of the 31 hydro reservoirs in India are witnessing water scarcity. They are operating at less than full capacity of the reservoir.
The CEA provides assistance to the power ministry in technical and economic matters. The water level at the Bhakra Nangal dam in Punjab was 507.53 metres as compared to its full capacity of 513.59 metres. The reservoir level at another such dam, Ranjit Sagar, in the state was 518.91 metres compared to its capacity of 527.91 metres.
Similar is the plight of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat with its current water level hovering around 120.65 metres as against its full capacity of 138.68 metres.
"Although the average rainfall deficit has come down in the country, there are pockets such as north-western India, Telangana, Rayalaseema, and parts of Maharashtra that have severe shortfall in rainfall. This has resulted in dams having much less water than long-term averages in these areas," Debasish Mishra, senior director (consulting), Deloitte, said.
The water level at these dams was not only lesser than its full-reservoir capacity but also lower than the level last year.
At present, the water level of Gandhi Sagar and Indira Sagar dams in Madhya Pradesh is 396.08 metres and 257.93 metres, respectively. This capacity was 399.03 metres and 259.58 metres on the same day last year.
The below-normal reservoir level at these water reservoirs has an adverse impact on hydroelectric power generation.
"Since many of these reservoirs are multi-purpose dams and drinking water supply and irrigation get preference over power generation in case of deficit monsoon year, electricity generation gets severely affected," Mishra added.