Deficient monsoon in Karnataka but dam levels are up | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Despite an overall monsoon deficiency of 8 per cent this year, the state’s reservoirs have sufficient water to meet the requirements of households, agricultural farms and industries for the next one year.
According to the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), the water storage level in the 13 major reservoirs is 780 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet). Last year, it was a bit higher at 807 tmcft.

“If one takes the average storage level of the past 10 years — 860 tmcft — then this year’s figure is lower. However, it’s ample,” said an official in the water resources department. Another official shared a similar observation.
Water resources minister Govind Karjol is confident there won’t be a problem. “The year’s monsoon has satisfactorily improved the storage levels in dams. There is adequate water to cater to drinking water needs, and there won’t be any issue in fulfilling the water requirements of the agricultural sector and industries,” he said. He added that the majority of water bodies, including lakes, were brimming with rainwater, which had also helped recharge groundwater.
Rains were weak in the last week of August and first week of September, but they picked up subsequently, augmenting the inflows into dams. “Though the monsoon has officially ended, there is a forecast of rainfall in the coming weeks, so there is still a window for the storage in reservoirs to improve,” said Manoj Rajan, commissioner, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC).
Residents of Bengaluru and Mysuru, which rely on Cauvery for drinking water, can breathe easy. The major reservoirs in the Cauvery basin, including Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS), Hemavathi, Kabini, and Harangi, are near-full. In the Krishna basin, the main reservoirs such as Bhadra, Tungabhadra, Ghataprabha, Malaprabha, Alamatti and Narayanapura also have good levels. Almatti dam, the biggest in the state, has a water level of 517 metres as against the full reservoir level (FRL) of 519 metres. It gets water from Koyna dam and some others in Maharashtra.
Similarly, Belagavi district’s Ghataprabha reservoir, which had a major role in worsening the flood situation last year after operators waited for it to be almost full, has a water level of 650 metres currently as against the FRL of 662 metres. Malaprabha dam, also in Belagavi, which was one of the worst-hit last year, has storage up to 628 metres compared to the FRL of 633 metres. Linganamakki, Supa, and Varahi reservoirs (hydel) also have better storage levels than last year’s cumulative storage capacity.
Revenue department officials said KSNDMC did well in minimising the damage from flash floods in north Karnataka this year. Mismanagement in the release of water from various dams was one of the main contributing factors for the 2019 deluge.

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Sagar Biswas

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