June 28, 2012 / 1:18 PM / 7 years ago

Water reservoirs at 16 pct of capacity - govt

Women fetch water from a well at Nani Shinoli village in Gujarat June 24, 2012. REUTERS/Amit Dave

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Water levels in India’s main reservoirs in the week to June 28 were at 16 percent of capacity, down 11 percentage points from the year ago period, government data showed on Thursday, in the fourth week of the crucial monsoon season.

The monsoon rains were below average for the week to June 27 and failed to cover as much of the country as they should have, the weather office said, fanning concerns about output of crops despite reassurances from weather officials.

Rains so far from June 1 have been 23 percent below average, compared with a 10.7 percent surplus in June 1-29 last year.

But the latest reservoir levels are exactly equal to the 10-year average for the week.

Reservoirs are important for hydropower, which accounts for a quarter of India’s generation capacity. They also provide water later in the year to irrigate winter crops such as wheat and rapeseed.

Reporting by Ratnajyoti Dutta; Editing by Anand Basu

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