Water levels in major dams of the Cauvery and Krishna basins have hit a low giving rise to possibilities of hydrological drought if the catchment areas do not get adequate rain in the coming weeks.
As on Wednesday, water levels in the KR Sagar, Hemavathi, Harangi and Kabini in the Cauvery basin are well below the full reservoir level (FRL). Also, the water position is nowhere near last year’s levels. The water in the KRS dam stood at 86.10 ft against the FRL of 124.80 ft. For Harangi dam, it was 2,835 ft against the FRL of 2,859 ft. Last year, Harangi had recorded 2,857.36 ft, whereas for KRS it was 121.80 ft.
The worrying point is that the inflow to KR Sagar is just 2,066 cusec against 53,115 cusec of last year’s. The inflow to Harangi is 2,521 cusec against last year’s 6,190 cusec.
The situation is no better in Krishna basin where there are six major dams. While Tungabhadra has recorded 1603.33 ft of water level against the FRL of 1,633, it is 2,124.50 ft at Bhadra dam against the FRL of 2,158 ft. The inflow to the Tungabhadra was 1,797 cusecs as on July 20, against the inflow of 1,54,894 cusecs last year. The situation of other five dams including Almatti’s is similar.
The water levels in the hydel reservoirs are also dismal. The Linganamakki has recorded 1763 ft of water against the FRL of 1819 ft. The inflow is just 2,259 cusecs against 2,408 cusecs last year. In terms of percentage, the water level in the Linganamakki is 20.81 per cent of the total storage capacity against last year’s 60.84 per cent. It is 15 per cent in case of Supa reservoir against 35.42 per cent of last year, while for Mani, it is 20.11 per cent against last year’s 43.64 per cent.
The low reservoir levels is primarily due to scanty rains, officials said. This would not affect drinking water supply to Bangalore City, as the availability of water in the Cauvery basin was sufficient to maintain 11 tmc of water supply to Bangalore, BWSSB sources said.
The power situation in Bangalore was also much better, with the State getting better rains in the last couple of days. The City now has just an hour of load shedding in the last two days as compared to 3-4 hours last week. But there is no improvement in power supply in other major cities.
Karnataka Power Corporation Limited Managing Director S M Jaamdar said: “The thermal power generating units have maximised their generation. But the water levels in the hydel reservoirs this time is at the decade’s lowest point. Hope the situation would improve in the weeks to come.”
Better showers in the last couple of days have also helped farmers to move on with sowing activities. Director of Agriculture Dr Sarvesh said the coverage of kharif sowing was 49 per cent as on Wednesday.