With the state facing deficit rainfall in August, central Gujarat has recorded a dip in storage of water, when compared to other regions.
The 17 dams in central Gujarat, which were collectively filled to 80 per cent of their total capacity on September 1, 2022, currently stand at 47.39 per cent, with deficit recorded in the local water bodies of cities and towns that take care of a sizable part of the water supply network.
Districts of Vadodara, Anand, Kheda, Dahod, Mahisagar and Chhota Udepur in central Gujarat have received deficit rainfall this monsoon, resulting in a shortfall of 761.48 million cubic metre (MCM) of storage as compared to September 1, 2022, when the gross storage recorded in the 17 dams was 1,866.04 MCM.
In Vadodara city, which has a daily water demand of 620 million litre (MLD), the municipal corporation is hopeful that the city’s Ajwa reservoir will fill up to its maximum level of 212 feet. It is currently at 208 feet, two feet short of the level recorded last year at this time.
Additional city engineer for water works and executive engineer (water supply), Amrut Makwana, said: “There is a minor shortfall at Ajwa, from where we take 125 MLD. The storage is currently sufficient but in case the level does not rise, we will seek additional water from SSNNL (Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited) as required.”
“Out of the 620 MLD needed for Vadodara city, 300 MLD is received from Mahisagar (Kadana dam) via Fajalpur and 80 MLD from Mahisagar via the new network from Sindhrot. The Khanpur treatment plant, where SSNNL supplies Narmada water, meets about 60 to 70 MLD of the city’s requirement. At the moment, the two major dams we rely on seem to be in a comfortable position,” he added.
The Sardar Sarovar Dam in Ekta Nagar and the Karjan Dam – both in Narmada district – are at 82.09 per cent and 76.6 per cent, respectively, of their total capacity.
The Sardar Sarovar Dam – called the lifeline of Gujarat – crossed the 133-m mark on Friday and stood at 133.24 m with an average inflow of 75,000 cusec from Madhya Pradesh, where Indirasagar and Omkareshwar dams have reached their full reservoir levels (FRL).
Sardar Sarovar, which is about 5 m short of its maximum level, is currently releasing 16,485 cusec of water from the main canal to provide irrigation water to farmers.
G S Garasiya, superintending engineer of SSNNL, said: “The pause in the rain has not affected the filling of the Sardar Sarovar… The dams in MP are full although rain has also taken a break there. But since we are only about 5 m short of full capacity and have over a month of monsoon remaining, the dam is projected to reach its FRL this year too… We have increased the outflow from the dam as per the demands in the command areas.”
The SSNNL has been generating hydropower through the 1,200-MW riverbed powerhouse (RBPH) instead of opening the radial gates for a safe filling of the dam to its FRL of 138.68 m.
The dam is currently at 7,765 MCM of gross storage with a live storage of 70.58 per cent or 4,065 MCM. The RBPH is releasing 14,091 cusec of water downstream, which has been cut back to divert additional water from the main canal through the canal head powerhouse.
While Kadana Dam in Mahisagar district is on high alert at 416 feet or at 99.01 per cent of its capacity and smaller Sukhi and Rami dams in Chhota Udepur have also reached the warning level, water reservoirs in central Gujarat have recorded a deficit.
In Mahisagar, although Kadana dam has recorded a current gross storage of 1,236.97 MCM out of its design capacity of 1249.30 MCM, the overall water storage in the district is at 44.22 per cent as on September 1, data from the state water resources and water supply department shows.
Panam dam in Panchmahal district is at present 43.8 per cent full with a storage of 253.23 MCM, out of its total capacity of 578.19 MCM. The district has recorded an overall gross storage of 54.72 per cent.
According to government data, until September 1, 207 major dams, including Sardar Sarovar in Narmada, have recorded a collective reserve of 76.51 per cent of their total capacity of 25,262 MCM. The available storage in major water bodies is up to 71.04 per cent on Friday, as against 63.51 per cent on July 31.
Dams in north Gujarat have 74.34 per cent of water with 1,932.79 MCM gross storage, as compared to 69.65 per cent on July 31. The reservoirs in four north Gujarat districts of Aravalli, Banaskantha, Mehsana and Sabarkantha have a current storage of 72.29 per cent.
In Kutch, which has 20 dams, 10 are full with total gross storage of 208.56 MCM on September 1 – a decline from the 221-MCM storage recorded on July 31. The total storage in Kutch has also reduced from 66.78 per cent on July 31 to 62.77 per cent. In Saurashtra, 29 of the 141 dams are at 82.6 per cent capacity. The region has 221 MCM in excess storage as compared to September 1, 2022.
Reservoirs in south Gujarat, too, are at 77.45 per cent of their capacity with four of the 13 dams full. However, the gross storage has recorded a deficit of 126.81 MCM when compared to September 1, 2022.
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