It is a wake-up call towards the deepening water crisis for every Indian.  UNESCO has submitted a report ahead of World Water Day on 22 March. It predicts an intensified water crisis across the nation by 2050, with many parts of central India battling a withdrawal of 40 percent of the renewable surface water resources.

Contamination is no longer a problem with surface water alone but also with groundwater resources which have been found to contain both metallic contamination and also contamination from improper disposal of human excreta. More than half of our rivers are heavily polluted. The Central Pollution Control Board has doubled the number of 'polluted' rivers from 121 to 275 in the last five years, blaming the huge quantities of untreated sewage being dumped into our rivers for this state of affairs. image. AFP

The CPCB collated monthly water quality analysis figures submitted by all state pollution control boards between 2015 and 2016. The State Pollution Control Boards evaluated 275 rivers across 29 states through 1,275 monitoring stations on the basis of their biochemical oxygen demand – the concentration of oxygen required for sustaining aquatic life – under the National Water Quality Monitoring Programme.

The report found that while Maharashtra had 49 polluted river stretches, including Mithi, Godavari, Bhima, Krishna, Ulhas, Tapi, Kundalika, Panchganga, Mula-Mutha, Pelhar, Penganga and Vaitarna, among others, Assam ranked second at 28, Madhya Pradesh third with 21, Gujarat 20, and West Bengal 17.

The situation is no better in the south where the quantum of water in the main rivers including the Godavari, the Cauvery and the Krishna is much reduced.

The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on April 05, 2018 was 42.973 BCM which is 27% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This percentage was at 28 for the week ending on March 28, 2018. The level of water storage in the week ending on April 05, 2018 was 85% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 90% of storage of average of last ten years.

The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 161.993 BCM which is about 63% of the total storage capacity of 257.812 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW.

NORTHERN REGION

The northern region includes States of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. There are six reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 18.01 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 3.71 BCM which is 21% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 23% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 26% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

EASTERN REGION

The Eastern region includes States of Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura. There are 15 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 18.83 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 8.35 BCM which is 44% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 52% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 38% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year but is better than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

WESTERN REGION

The Western region includes States of Gujarat and Maharashtra. There are 27 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 31.26 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 9.29 BCM which is 30% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 35% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 34% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the storage of last year and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

CENTRAL REGION

The Central region includes States of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. There are 12 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 42.30 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 12.59 BCM which is 30% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 44% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 30% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the storage of last year but is equal to the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

SOUTHERN REGION

The Southern region includes States of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, AP&TG (Two combined projects in both states), Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.There are 31 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 51.59 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 9.04 BCM which is 18% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 13% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 24% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is better than the corresponding period of last year but is less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

States having better storage than last year for corresponding period are Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Tripura, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, AP&TG (Two combined projects in both states), Andhra Pradesh Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. States having equal storage than last year for corresponding period is Rajasthan. States having lesser storage than last year for corresponding period are Punjab, Jharkhand, Odisha, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana.

 

Chander Mohan

Krishi Jagran/New Delhi



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