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Thursday, Oct 07, 2004

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Water storage in reservoirs up

Our Bureau

Chennai , Oct. 6

WATER availability in the 71 important reservoirs in the country is nine per cent higher than last year but it is still 11 per cent lower compared to the last ten year's average.

According to the Central Water Commission, the water availability in these reservoirs, which accounts for 62 per cent of the total reservoir capacity in the country, is 84.51 billion cubic metres (BCM). This is 6.75 BCM higher than last year's availability. Reservoirs are showing a rise in water availability with inflows continuing owing to rains till late in September.

While Sriramsagar and Somasila reservoirs in Andhra Pradesh have no water that can be utilised, two reservoirs in Gujarat— Sabarmati and Dantiwada — have just 10 per cent of their storage capacity. A similar situation prevails in Yeldari reservoir in Maharashtra.

There are five dams - one each in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu - which have water only between 10 and 30 per cent of their capacity.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, though the country experienced 12 per cent deficient rainfall this year, the deficiency was far higher in the north-west part, comprising Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

It had a 21 per cent deficient rainfall. Rainfall in Central India was lower by 11 per cent and in the South by 15 per cent.

Among the States, rainfall in Punjab was lower by 42 per cent this year, while in western Rajasthan it was down by 39 per cent and in western Uttar Pradesh by 36 per cent.

Twelve regions in the country have had rainfall that was 20 per cent lower than normal.

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