KRS reservoir fails to reach brim third time in two decades

Farmers fear crops may get water for just a month more

Farmers in the region may get water to their standing crops for one more month only as water in the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) reservoir has not touched its maximum level of 124.80. This is for the third time in the last two decades that the storage has not reached the maximum level.

There was hope that at least this year, the reservoir will be filled to its brim due to rains during the retreating monsoon period. With water to be available only till January, sugar cane and paddy growers are worried that their standing crops may wither away.
Three occasions

From 1992-2012 (for two decades), the reservoir did not reach its brim thrice. In 2002, the maximum level registered in the reservoir was 120 ft and in the next year, (2003), the reservoir had water up to 99 ft.

This year, the water level had reached up to 110 ft. But, following the Tamil Nadu government’s demand, more than 30 tmc ft water was released, reducing the water level to 102.95 (as on Thursday).

Cloud seeding

The government has spent a whopping Rs five crore on cloud seeding, but it has not helped as the inflow to the reservoir is going down. Paddy grown in 45,000 hectares of the canal command area is waiting to be harvested in a month.

But paddy grown in another 30,000 hectares needs water till April. Besides, paddy to be grown in 45,000 hectares as summer crop from January, too may face water shortage. Upgradation of various canals from January will also affect the water supply, causing loss to thousands of farmers.

Water level

As on November 21, the water level was 102.95 ft, with an inflow of 858 cusec and an outflow of 5,188 cusec. Considering the difference between the inflow and outflow, the water level may go down to less than 100 ft in just four days, it is said.

Last year, on November 21, the reservoir level was at 122.57 ft. While the inflow was
3,807 cusec, the outflow was 6,852 cusec. At present, the water quantity is 25.2 tmc ft. A total of 16.8 tmc ft of water is meant for utilisation, according to irrigation officers. Last year, on the same day, the reservoir had 46.3 tmc ft of water, including 36 tmc ft for utilisation.

In the present situation, water can be supplied to the canals for only a month. The irrigation officials are apprehensive that the reservoir will have full capacity this time, given that it has not happened after November 15 in the last two decades.

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