Half of India faces drought with low pre-monsoon rain, heat spell

-Hindustan Times

IMD on June 1 said that this year the monsoon rainfall is likely to be “normal” at 96% of the long period average (LPA), and indicated that it would be evenly spread that could bring some respite to people suffering from dry weather conditions.

New Delhi/ Pune/ Bhopal:
Around 43% of the country is staring at a drought, government reports released in the past week show. By June 15, it would increase to 51%, if the monsoon isn’t sufficient.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that India received 99 mm of pre-monsoon rain between March 1 and May 31 — a deficiency of 25%. “This has been the second driest pre-monsoon season in the last 65 years,” Skymet Weather reported. In 2012, the deficiency was 31% with 90.5mm pre-monsoon rains.

The IMD’s rain reports show that Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, parts of the Northeast, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana are the worst hit, and more than 500 million people likely to face the impact.

“Before onset of monsoon, which is still away, the next few months are going to be difficult for many of these regions,” said Vimal Mishra, associate professor at IIT Gandhinagar, whose team runs the Drought Early Warning System, which showed that around 43% of India is facing dry weather conditions, which can result in drought in coming months if the monsoon rainfall is not sufficient.

The India Meteorological Department on June 1 said that this year the monsoon rainfall is likely to be “normal” at 96% of the long period average (LPA), and indicated that it would be evenly spread that could bring some respite to people suffering from dry weather conditions.

However, the impact is already being felt. In Maharashtra, around 20,000 villages are facing severe drinking water crises with no water left in 35 major and medium dams. In about 1,000 small dams, the water level is less than 7.6%, according to the data released by Maharashtra water resources department on June 3. In first week of June in 2018, the average water level in these dams was 17.89 %.

Marathwada is one of the worst affected regions in the state, with eight of the nine dams reported totally dry. Last year, these dams had 14.15% water levels. Nagpur and Nashik regions are slightly better with 6.2% of the water left in dams, while Pune division has 7.53% water left in dams.  

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Hindustan Times, 5 June, 2019, https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/half-of-india-faces-drought-with-low-pre-monsoon-rain-heat-spell/story-tgAEpqHfITN6RkK7kumUHL.html

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