Monsoon showers this year have created a problem of plenty for the state governments. Most rivers and reservoirs now have much more water than what they had in the past few years, creating a huge flood scare if it rains as per the prediction of the meteorological department.
Of the 71 large reservoirs monitored by the Central Water Commission (CWC), 41 has water storage of more than 20 per cent of the capacity. Ideally, it should not be more than 10 per cent, said Himanshu Thakkar of South Asian Network of Dams, Rivers and People.
Commission member (Water Planning and Projects) BS Ahuja said discharge of water from reservoirs is duty of the state governments. And, it varies from reservoir to reservoir depending on monsoon predictions by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). “The discharge of water also depends on demand of water for agriculture,” he said.
This year the summer rainfall in western and northern part of India was 20-25 per cent more than the last few years, resulting in more water in reservoirs and river, the IMD officials said. The extra rain also lowered the demand of water for irrigation purposes, thereby resulting in lesser discharge of water. Some northern states still discharged more water anticipating good monsoon, a commission official said.
Many western states, which don’t receive heavy monsoon shower, didn’t release sufficient water, thus creating a flood situation with
arrival of the rains.
The CWC data indicate most reservoirs in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat have more water than the last few years. For instance, Isapur reservoir has 44 per cent water of its capacity as compared to only five per cent last year. Parts of Maharashtra received 172 cm of rainfall since Monday night causing flooding and large-scale destruction.
The Central Water Commission data shows major rivers such as Ganga, Indus, Mahi and Godavari have water much more than the average of the last 10 years. As on 21 June, Ganga had 23.61 per cent of its storage capacity as compared to just 8.10 per cent last year. Similarly, Mahi has 37 per cent as compared to 30 per cent last year.
If it rains like it did in Maharashtra and Gujarat on Monday night, the rivers with access water would soon be a cause for flooding in northern India as well.