Filling up of dams hinges on monsoon revival

Two months after the onset of south-west monsoon, the cumulative storage in the reservoirs in the Cauvery basin in the State is higher than what they were last year though none of the dams are full.

The two major reservoirs – KRS and Hemavathi – tend to attain their full reservoir levels (FRL) during the second week of August and hence hopes are pinned on the revival of the monsoon which has abated in the catchment areas of the Cauvery and the Hemavathi.

But what is of concern to the people of Kodagu and other regions that form the catchment area of the Cauvery is the pattern of rainfall in recent years.

While the onset of monsoon tends to be on time in the first week of June, it abates and there is below normal rains during July. However, there is widespread and intense rains during the first two weeks of August resulting in calamity with landslides leading to loss of lives and property. This has been the pattern since the last 3 years. Hence the residents of Kodagu are wary of any intensification or revival of monsoon and are deeply worried about the “August rains’’.

Meanwhile, the water levels in both the dams are higher and the gross storage is also more than what it was during the corresponding period last year. The water level in the KRS as on Tuesday was 115.35 ft. against the FRL of 124.80 ft. The water level was 105.64 ft. on the same day last year. The gross storage was 37.49 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft.) against the capacity of 49.45 tmc ft while the storage was 27.60 tmc ft on the same day last year.

The intermittent rainfall in Kodagu has ensured a steady inflow into the KRS which was at the rate of 7,479 cusecs on Tuesday. According to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC), the KRS reservoir level has increased by 10.02 ft. in 7 days during the week ending July 29. The present level is almost 11.3 ft. more than the average levels of the last 10 years and 6.88 ft. more compared to last year (as on July 29). The highest inflow into the KRS during the 7 days under consideration was on July 25 when the rate of inflow reached 41,084 cusecs.

The water level at Hemavathi was 2,918.44 ft. against the FRL of 2,922 ft. The gross storage was 34.57 tmc ft. against the capacity of 37.10 tmc ft where as the storage was only 18.22 tmc ft. on the same day last year. The water level in the Hemavathi increased by 8.67 ft. during the week ending July 29 and the present level is 19.22 ft. more than the average levels of the last 10 years, according to the KSNDMC. The reservoir level was also 22.91 ft more than what it was during the same period last year.

Kabini and Harangi – being relatively smaller dams – tend to get filled up early. The water level at Kabini was 2,280.25 ft. against the FRL of 2,284 ft. and at Harangi it was 2,856.68 ft. against the FRL of 2,859 ft.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2021 8:36:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/filling-up-of-dams-hinges-on-monsoon-revival/article35702188.ece

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