Dead storage level reached, only 5 ft drinking water left
The supply of drinking water in Mysore, Mandya, Ramanagaram and Bangalore is expected to worsen in the coming weeks as the water-level at the Krishnaraja Sagar Reservoir (KRS) near Srirangapatna has reached ‘dead storage’ level.
The water-level in the reservoir at 6 a.m. on Saturday stood at 73.47 ft as against 101 ft on the same day last year. The inflow rate, even after releasing water to KRS from Harangi dam in Madikeri, was 406 cubic feet per second (cusecs) at 6 a.m. on Saturday. The outflow rate was 1,140 cusecs during the same period.
The maximum water-level of the reservoir is 124.8 ft.
The reservoir had around 8,000 tmcft water (live storage) at 6 a.m. on Saturday, an official attached to the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd.(CNNL) told The Hindu.
The ‘dead storage’ level at the KRS is 74 ft. Though water can be released from the reservoir up to 60 ft, beyond 68 ft, water is not ideal for drinking as it contains dust, silt, fungi and other waste material, an official of the Engineering Regulation Section (Gauging), Irrigation Department (KRS), told The Hindu. This means there is just around 5 ft for drinking purposes.
The water-level is likely to reach 68 ft by mid-April. Once it falls below that level, it will be difficult to ensure drinking water supply to Bangalore, Mysore, Mandya and Ramanagaram, officials said.
These four districts need at least 4 tmcft of water for till June.
Officials at the Irrigation Department and the CNNL said water scarcity is about to hit Bangalore in a big way as the water-level at KRS is plummeting.
Officials have requested the people to use the available water judiciously.
A senior official at CNNL said people waste lakhs of litres of water to wash their vehicles. The media and activists should campaign against wasting water this way. The CNNL, based on directions from the State government, has been releasing around 1,000 cusecs to Bangalore in the last two weeks. The rainfall in the coming days may ease the situation, but till then, people should conserve water, he said.