It may be a summer of discontent on the power front, but the authorities are sitting pretty on the water front with the storage position in the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) reservoir reckoned to be comfortable and above average for the period.
On Saturday, the water-level at the KRS was 115.18 ft. as against the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of 124.80 ft. The water-level in the reservoir during the corresponding period last year was 101.84 ft. The live storage on Saturday was 28.88 tmcft. which is reckoned to be high for the third week of February by when the temperature shoots up in the region, signalling the onset of summer.
Sources told The Hindu that there was adequate water in the reservoir to meet the drinking needs and for irrigation in the Mysore region apart from meeting the requirements of Tamil Nadu as per the Cauvery Tribunal under which the State has to release 192 tmcft. annually with a monthly release of 2.5 tmcft. in March, April and May.
The sources said the water-level was comparable to the situation in 2008. The reservoir had similar storage-level then, and this is significant as there had been occasions when the water-level did not cross 110 ft. during peak monsoon. Attributing the comfortable storage-level to copious rain last monsoon followed by un-seasonable showers in the catchment areas of the Cauvery, the authorities were hopeful of meeting the drinking water exigency in case of a delay in the onset of south-west monsoon in June.
Cause for cheer
But what has cheered the authorities is that the high water-level in the reservoir during summer ensures an early FRL which gets filled to the brim during the early phase of monsoon unlike in the past. This would ensure adequate storage throughout the next season as well. However, the evaporation rate will be high in the coming months which will call for continuous regulation of water use. But erratic power supply may as well hit water supply in Mysore and the surrounding region as water cannot be pumped without power.