The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is nearly 161 billion cubic meter (BCM) which is about 63% of the total storage capacity of 257.81 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country.
If we look at regional figures, the southern region – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu – has 31 reservoirs under CWC monitoring. These reservoirs have collective live storage capacity of 51.59BCM.
All these reservoirs get water during south-west monsoon (June-September) and those falling in Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and south-interior Karnataka also getting replenished during winter (northeast) monsoon.
The total live storage available in these 31 reservoirs is 7.376BCM which is 14.29% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 13.27%
Though it shows storage during the current year is still better than the corresponding period of last year, it is less than the average storage of the past 10 years during the corresponding period.
The future depends much on the amount of rain the south of India gets during upcoming summer monsoon – prediction of which is not that encouraging.
The IMD predicts ‘near normal’ monsoon for the year, but the forecast of regional distribution of rains is still not known and will be clear only in the first week of June. Skymet, India’s only private weather forecasting agency, says the monsoon is likely to be “below normal” at 93 per cent.
Depletion of reservoirs is certainly a major worry, but the hope rests with prospect of ‘near normal’ rains. No one can afford deficit monsoon with the kind of reservoir status the country currently has.