As the hill state witnessed a rainfall deficit due to the weak monsoon this season, the water level in the Pong dam and the Bhakra dam reservoirs remain low, however, officials maintained that situation was not worrying and the two reservoirs would be full by the end of filling season.
Both the dams serve the irrigation requirements of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
“The water level in the Pong dam’s Mahrana Pratap Reservoir and Bhakra’s Govind Sagar Reservoir, on Thursday, stood at 1,324 feet and 1,634 feet respectively,” said a Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) official, which manages the two dams built on the Punjab-Himachal border. The current water inflow into the Pong dam was 19,900 cusecs while 45,000 cusecs water flowed into the Bhakra dam. The outflow in the two dams was 14,000 cusecs and 25,500 cusecs respectively.
In 2013, the water level in the Pong dam and the Bhakra dam stood at 1,355 feet and 1,643 feet, respectively. This means the water level compared to last year was 31 feet below and in the Bhakra dam, it was 10 feet less.
The water level in the Pong reservoir has increased by only around 10 feet in the last 12 days. However, the Bhakra reservoir witnessed a considerable increase of 21 feet in the same period, as the Sutlej’s catchment areas and high hills.
On July 12, water level in the Pong and Bhakra reservoirs was recorded at 1,314 and 1613 feet, respectively. The Bhakra has the maximum storage capacity of 1,702 feet and the Pong dam could hold water between 1,395 to 1,410 feet against the danger mark of 1,390 feet. The level in the two dams was 68 and 71 feet below the maximum level.
The rain deficit in the state that was 46% in the second week of July has now come down to 28%.
The BBMB officials said the reservoir was likely to reach the maximum level before the monsoon ends.
The filling season starts with the onset of monsoon and ends in the last week of September. If the water level in the reservoir touches its optimum level, the BBMB would be able to supply enough water for irrigation during the lean season that begins on September 21 and ends on May 20.