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Government issues drought advisory; US approves missile sales to South Korea- Current Affairs

The advisory was issued to Tamil Nadu first on May 18 and then, similar advisories letters were sent to other states in the last week.

May 18, 2019 11:54 IST
Government issues drought advisory in 6 states

Story 1- Government issues drought advisory to 6 southern, western states

The Union Government has issued a drought advisory to states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu and asked them to use water wisely as water storage in dams is dropping to a critical level.

The advisory was issued to the state of Tamil Nadu on May 18 and similar advisories letters were sent to other states in the last week. The drought advisory is issued to concerned states when the water level in reservoirs is 20 per cent less than the average of live water storage figures of the past 10 years.

Key Highlights

Water falls under the state list and the advisory recommends states to use it for drinking purpose only till the dams are replenished.

The water storage level in 91 major reservoirs across the country is monitored by the Central Water Commission.

Currently, the total water storage available is 22 per cent of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 161.993 BCM. The figure was at 24 per cent for the week ending on May 9.

The situation seems to be grim in western and southern parts of the country.

Water Storage in Western states

The western parts include Gujarat and Maharashtra. These states have 27 reservoirs, including 10 in Gujarat and 17 in Maharashtra with a total live storage capacity of 31.26 BCM.

The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 4.10 BCM until May 16, which is 13 per cent of total live storage capacity.

The storage in 27 reservoirs of these two states during the corresponding period of last year was 18 per cent and average storage of last 10 years was 22 per cent.

The situation in Marathwada is particulary critical where the water level in 45 major dams has hit an alarmingly low level.

Water Storage in Southern States

The southern parts include Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. These states have 31 reservoirs, two of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana combined and one individual in Andhra Pradesh  and two in Telangana, four in Karnataka, six each in Kerala and Tamil Nadu with a total live storage capacity of 51.59 BCM.

The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 6.86 BCM, which is 13 per cent of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

The storage during corresponding period of last year was 13 per cent and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 16 per cent.

Water Storage in Northern States

The water storage level has significantly improved in the northern region which includes states such as  Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. There are six reservoirs in this region having a total live storage capacity of 18.01 BCM.

The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 8.54 BCM, which is 47 per cent of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

Water Storage in Eastern States

The eastern region includes states such as Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura.

These are 15 reservoirs in this region having a total live storage capacity of 18.83 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 5.04 BCM which is 27 per cent of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

Conclusion

With the dip in water level in the dams in the southern and western region, the Centre has decided to issue the drought advisory to the concerned states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, requesting them to use water intelligently.

Story 2 - US approves missile sales to South Korea, Japan

The United states on May 17, 2019 approved more than $600 million worth air defence missile sale to South Korea and Japan, in the wake of mounting tensions with North Korea.

The US State Department has approved 94 SM-2 missiles used by ships against air threats, along with 12 guidance systems for a total cost of $313.9 million. The nation also separately approved the sale of 160 anti-air AMRAAM missiles and related guidance equipment to Japan for $317 million.

Objective

The sales aim to support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by assisting key allies. They will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

Tensions with North Korea

The North Korea reportedly last week tested two-range missiles in its second launch in less than a week. In April, the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had supervised the test-firing of a new type of "tactical guided weapon", as per a report by the country's state media.

tests come amid a standstill in negotiations between North Korea and the United States, where President Donald Trump had promised of putting an end to the North's missile tests.

The second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended in deadlock in February 2019, with the US side refusing demands to ease sanctions until Pyongyang takes major steps to end its nuclear program.

(with AFP inputs)

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