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Alarming dip in water levels in dams in the state

Even as a Central team has begun assessing the drought situation in Kerala, summer at its peak has left major irrigation and hydropower dams in the state in a tricky situation.

Published: 20th April 2017 01:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th April 2017 04:57 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as a Central team has begun assessing the drought situation in Kerala, summer at its peak has left major irrigation and hydropower dams in the state in a tricky situation.

Mid-April figures on dam storage levels compiled by the Irrigation Department and the KSEB amply indicate how decisive the south-west monsoon, still one-and-a-half months away, will be for Kerala. 


Overall water levels, as on April 17, in 20 irrigation dams is down by 44.86 per cent compared to volumes on the same day last year. The KSEB dams were only 23 per cent full to capacity on April 19, and the total storage is the lowest in the last four years. 


While total storage in irrigation dams had stood at 741.48 mm3 last year, it has dipped to an alarming 408.86 mm3 this year.

The status of some of the bigger irrigation dams in the state is as follows: water levels in the Neyyar reservoir in Thiruvananthapuram district and Kallada in Kollam district are lower by 42.05 per cent and 66.13 per cent respectively compared to last year. Kuttiyadi in Kozhikode and the Pothundi and Mangalam reservoirs in Palakkad have respectively 25.34, 29.72 and 52.95 per cent less water than last year. 


On its part, rather than depending on internal hydro generation, the KSEB is banking on its share from Central power generating stations and power purchases to see it through the summer. On Wednesday, for instance, KSEB imported 54.34 million units (MU) of the total 76.4 MU supplied in the state, a solid 71 per cent of the total consumption. 


At the moment, all the hydel reservoirs combined have adequate storage to generate only 969.05 MU, compared to the 1363.43 MU that was available last year. Idukki, the biggest of the reservoirs has only 24 per cent water left. In fact, seven of the hydel reservoirs have less than 30 per cent storage left.



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