CENTRAL WATER COMMISSION (Syllabus GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     3rd June 2024        

Context: The Central Water Commission (CWC) recently reported that water shortages across the country are set to worsen, with the water level in the 150 main reservoirs having dropped to 23%, which is 77% less than last year's levels.

Key Highlights of CWC

  • At least 8 reservoirs across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh (AP), and Uttarakhand reported zero storage.
  • 4 additional reservoirs, located in AP, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka, had less than 10% storage.
  • The southern region, encompassing AP, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, faced severe repercussions.
  • Out of 42 reservoirs in this area, only 14% of their total capacity was filled, compared to 25% last year and the normal 20%.
  • The northern, eastern, and central regions exhibited storage levels at 30%, 28%, and 29.1% respectively, in comparison to their total reservoir capacities.
  • Thirteen east-flowing rivers between the Mahanadi and Pennar remained dry for nine consecutive weeks, including Rushikulya, Bahuda, Vamsadhara, and others.
  • 18 out of 19 river basins registered storage levels below 50%, with only the Brahmaputra basin reporting 58.58% capacity.
  • Storage in the Ganga river basin stood at 31.99% of its capacity, lower than last year but higher than the 'normal' average over the past ten years.

Central Water Commission (CWC)

  • About: It operates as an attached office of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, falling under the Department of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Organizational Structure: Led by a Chairman holding the status of Ex-Officio Secretary to the 
  • Divisional Authority: Each wing is overseen by a full-time Member, carrying the status of Ex-Officio Additional Secretary to the Government of India.
  • Functions:
  • Coordination and Initiation: Responsible for initiating, coordinating, and advancing schemes in consultation with State Governments for water resource control, conservation, and utilization nationwide.
  • Scope of Operations: Undertakes investigations, constructions, and execution of schemes related to flood control, irrigation, navigation, drinking water supply, and water power development.