Less than 25% of storage capacity in Karnataka dams

As per the latest data, 14 major reservoirs now have 217.75 tmcft of water as against their total storage capacity of 895.62 tmcft.
A file photo of the Kabini reservoir
A file photo of the Kabini reservoir

BENGALURU: Rain deficit, harsh summer and evaporation have reduced the water level in major reservoirs of the state to less than 25% of their total storage capacity.

As per the latest data, 14 major reservoirs now have 217.75 tmcft of water as against their total storage capacity of 895.62 tmcft. This is less than 25% of the total storage. During the same time last year, the reservoirs had 269 tmcft of water. Tungabhadra has 3.77 tmcft of water as against its storage capacity of 105.79 tmcft. KRS and Kabini have 11.74 tmcft and 7.72 tmcft of water as against their gross storage capacity of 49.45 tmcft and 19.52 tmcft, respectively.

Srinivas Reddy, former director of Karnataka State Natural Disaster Management Centre (KSNDMC), told TNIE that usually from March to May, the water level in the reservoirs goes down. The reservoirs will be full twice a year -- in August and October or November. This will help farmers to harvest two crops in a year.

However, the reservoirs were full only once this year. Also, water from the reservoirs in the Cauvery basin in the state was released to Tamil Nadu. “All these factors resulted in the poor water storage level in Karnataka’s reservoirs,” he said.

Water is also lost due to evaporation. This time, the loss is more because of the scorching summer. “Karnataka gets around 50mm rain during April, whereas the loss due to evaporation is around 5mm per day. This means a loss of 150mm per month,” he said.

Sources in KSNDMC said the state is facing a drought year and rain in some areas is not generating adequate inflows into the reservoirs. “Even if it rains in May, we might not get good inflows till June-end,” the sources added.

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