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Water in India’s major reservoirs 10% less: Study

New Delhi, June 5: Water levels in India’s major reservoirs are 10 per cent lower than normal whereas these are 50 per cent deficient in Himachal Pradesh, a factsheet by Climate Trends said on Tuesday.

Putting together the spread of India’s dwindling water tables and acute water distress across the country, the study, compiled from the secondary data, looks at the impact of climate change in shifting rainfall patterns in India, the repeated droughts and water shortage incidents and the economic impact of water shortage on industries.

Climate Trends, a communications initiative focussing on building public understanding of climate change and clean energy issues, offers a snapshot of the inter-state and international water disputes that India is facing currently – which offers a pretty dismal picture of water shortage in the country. The report shows that as of mid-May, water levels in major reservoirs are 10 per cent lower than normal this time of the year, while the levels were 11 per cent lower in October 2017, at the end of monsoon.

Many states have seen significant changes in annual rainfall patterns like the year-round rainfall in Chhattisgarh has fallen nearly 10 per cent, while it has increased in coastal Karnataka, Punjab and Haryana.

Extreme rainfall is becoming more common in much of the country leading to floods and loss of agriculture. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand all saw major reservoirs running dry in early 2018 and drought and severe water shortages in many parts of these states. As temperatures soar above 40 degrees Celsius in most parts of India, studies find by turn of the century much of South Asia will be too hot for people to survive. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita