Of the country's 76 major water reservoirs, nearly 31 are left with little utilisable water with storage levels dropping to below 10 per cent of the designed capacity. This situation prevails just before the advent of the monsoons.
Of these, around 11 reservoirs with an estimated storage of zero per cent or negative have been drawn down to the bottom and 20 others have less than 10 per cent of the live storage capacity.
About 35 other reservoirs, too, are filled to less than one-third of their live storage capacity. Thus, on the whole, 66 of a total 76 reservoirs have storage less than 30 per cent of their capacity. Only four dams are more than half-filled, though none of the reservoirs falls in the above-80 per cent storage category.
According to the Central Water Commission (CWC), which monitors water storage in these dams, the overall water storage scenario is not too different from the normal situation at this time of the year.
The position is, in fact, better than that in the last year, though marginally below the past ten years' average, CWC sources pointed out.
The total water in these 76 reservoirs together was estimated at around 19.34 billion cubic metres (BCM) on May 27, which is about 21 per cent above the last year's corresponding figures.
However, it is about seven per cent below the last ten years' average storage of 20.69 BCM. The four reservoirs having above 50 per cent storage are Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh (72 per cent), Rana Pratap Sagar in Rajasthan (67 per cent), and Kadana (54 per cent) and Panam (52 per cent) in Gujarat. The Thein dam in Punjab also has around 50 per cent water storage.
The 11 dams, which are almost empty, are located in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra with just one --Sabarmati (Dharoi) being in Gujarat. The other 10 reservoirs having zero or negative storage are Sriram Sagar and Somsila in Andhra Pradesh; Krishnaraja Sagar, Kabini, Hemvati and Harangi in Karnataka; and Bhima, Isapur and Yeldari in Maharashtra.
The 20 reservoirs, which have reported below 10 per cent storage, are located in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat and Maharashtra. These reservoirs are Panchet Hill and Tilaiya in Jharkhand, Shetrunji and Dantivada in Gujarat, Tungabhadra, Ghataprabha, Bhadra, Malaprabha (Renuka) and Vanvilar Sagar in Karnataka.
Gandhi Sagar and Bargi in Madhya Pradesh, Upper Tapi in Maharashtra, Balimela and Salanadi in Orissa, Vaigai, Prambikulam, Aliyar and Sholayar in Tamil Nadu, and Matatila and Rihand in Uttar Pradesh.