While the level of water in key dams in north India has remained below normal through the summer, the monsoon in the region has also slipped below the long-period average.

The storage level in reservoirs in Himachal Pradesh is 13 per cent below the 10-year average while in Punjab, it is 24 per cent below the average, data released by the Central Water Commission (CWC) on August 6 reveals.

Rains in the first week of August have been seriously deficient in all three states.

The water level recorded at Bhakra Dam, that lies on the Sutlej in Himachal, was 495.32 meters against the full reservoir level of 512.06 meters. This translates to the current storage being 52 per cent of its total capacity. This figure was 75 per cent for this time last year and 61 per cent for the past 10-year average.

At Pong Dam, that lies on the Beas in Himachal, the water level was 408.93 meters against the maximum of 423.67 meters. The current storage in the reservoir is 44 per cent against last year’s 49 per cent and the past 10-year average of 51 per cent.

The CWC data shows that the water level at Thein Dam on the Ravi in Punjab was 508.99 meters against the top level of 527.91 meters, implying that the current water availability is 45 per cent of its total capacity. Availability was 64 per cent at this time last year while average availability for the past 10 years was 60 per cent.

As far as monsoon this year is concerned, rains in Punjab and Haryana remained above the long-period average through June and July before slipping below par in August. In Himachal, monsoon remained deficient all through.

According to the data compiled by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) for the period August 1 to August 7, rains were deficient by 73 per cent in Haryana and by 70 per cent and 62 per cent in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, respectively.

Some areas in these states received varying amounts of rain, with Mewat in Haryana being the only district in these states to receive surplus rain.

During the first week of August, Haryana received 11.2 mm rain against the normal of 42.1 mm while Punjab received 14.4 mm against the normal of 47.5 mm. Himachal received 25.5 mm rain against the normal of 67.5 mm.

For the cumulative rainfall received during the entire season from June 1 till date, Himachal has shown a deficiency of 33 per cent. In Punjab and Haryana, rains have been below the long-period average by nine per cent and eight per cent, respectively, for the season.


Source: August 07, 2020, The Tribune