The water level in the 150 major reservoirs in India dropped further by two percentage points this week as nearly two-thirds of the country has received deficient, largely deficient or no rain since October beginning.

According to data from the Central Water Commission (CWC), the storage dropped to 71 per cent (127.591 billion cubic metres) of the 178.784 billion cubic metres (BCM) capacity this week from 73 per cent (129.636 BCM) a week ago.

The water level in reservoirs has declined since the week-ended October 5 by three percentage points due to lack of rain over a major part of the country’s catchment areas. As such, the level is below the last 10 years’ average as also last year by 21 percentage and 9 percentage points, respectively.

The water level continued to decline in the South further below the 50 per cent of the capacity witnessed since the beginning of this month. This week, the storage was 24.574 BCM or 46 per cent of the capacity in the peninsular region.

Among southern States, the storage in Karnataka dropped to 35 per cent below normal (-32 last week) and Andhra Pradesh to 56 per cent below normal (-52). In Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the level is lower than normal by 22 per cent (-23%) and 53 per cent (-52%), respectively.

According to the India Meteorological Department, 37 per cent of the 713 districts from which data has been received, was largely rain deficient, while 19 per cent was deficient with another 7 per cent receiving no rain.

The CWC’s weekly bulletin said 105 of the 150 reservoirs had a storage of above 80 per cent of the capacity and of the rest, 14 (13 last week) had water level of up to 50 per cent. This week, the Lower Bhavani reservoir joined the list of those with storage up to 50 per cent.

The water level in Punjab improved this week to 8 per cent below normal against 15 per cent last week but it declined to 10 per cent from 13 per cent in Bengal. The situation seems to be improving in Maharashtra, where the storage was 3 per cent below normal versus 4 per cent last week.

The storage declined in Uttar Pradesh to 31 per cent below normal, (29 per cent last week) and to 12 per cent  in Chhattisgarh (9 per cent). In Bihar, the level dropped to 19 above normal (26 per cent). 

The situation will likely improve next week as the IMD has forecast a fresh spell of heavy rain on October 29 and 30 in South India.