India’s 91 Key Reservoirs Only Have 24 Percent Water Available

Only Andhra Pradesh and Tripura have reported better water storage as compared to last year. 

2 min read
A dried up canal in Maharashtra. Image used for representation. (Photo courtesy: Subrata Biswas/Greenpeace)

For World Environment Day 2016 on 5 June, The Quint brings you a series of stories on the state of water in India. The past couple of years have been drier than usual. Weak monsoons had devastating consequences for farmers across the country. Follow our World Environment Day coverage for a look at our water situation.

This piece was originally published on 14 April 14 2016.


Water shortage reality stares India in the face as 91 major reservoirs in the country now have only 37.92 billion cubic meters of the precious resource in their storage. That is 24 percent of the total storage capacity, reports The Times of India. The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is nearly 157bcm or nearly 62% of the total storage capacity of the estimated 253 bcm that has reportedly been created in India.

37/91 reservoirs have hydro-power benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW.

The central water commission noted that as of 7 April, the storage status of these reservoirs is lesser when compared to last year.

States with Lesser Storage Compared to 2015

  • Himachal
  • Punjab
  • Bengal
  • Rajasthan
  • Jharkhand
  • Odisha
  • Gujarat
  • Maharashtra
  • UP
  • Uttarakhand
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Telangana
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Karnataka
  • Kerala

Only two states, Andhra Pradesh and Tripura, have reported better storage vis-a-vis the previous year.


Water is generally stored during the monsoon season between the months of June to September. The lowering numbers this year is because of the decline in rainfall in 2014 and 2015. Most of the water from these reservoirs is used for irrigation, the status of availability indicates the supply during the winter crop season (rabi).

The meteorological department is predicting abundant rainfall this year and so, the hope is that these reservoirs get enough water to last a while.

Read: BJP Government Pins Hopes on Good Monsoon to Spur Rural Economy

Water scarcity is a major global concern. This story is part of The Quint’s #WaterBucketChallenge campaign for World Environment Day 2016. Join us in trying to save water one bucket at a time using our hashtag and make sure you tag us too!

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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