THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Rainfall in recent weeks has left the state in a better position this summer with regard to water availability. While the storage in the irrigation dams and reservoirs has definitely dipped since March, it is still 80.02 per cent higher when compared to April last year.
On Wednesday, April 18, the combined storage in all the irrigation dams stood at 730.81 million cubic metres (mcm). On the same day in 2017, the storage was just 405.96 mcm, shows statistics with the Irrigation Department. Storage levels in a majority of the reservoirs, including Malampuzha, Neyyar, Kallada, Karapuzha, Mangalam and Kanjirappuzha are higher compared to last year, though Kuttiyadi showed a decline in storage by 27.26 per cent.
Nonetheless, the current storage is still less than half of the maximum combined storage capacity of the reservoirs, which stands at 1,847.17 mcm. Towards the beginning of March this year, storage levels had stood at over 900 mcm. The storage in the KSEB’s hydel reservoirs are also better compared to last year. Current storage stands at 1560.6 million units (MU) against last year’s 969.05 MU. The summer rainfall has provided a breather for the Water Resources Department and the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) which were keeping their fingers crossed this summer. The KWA concludes the situation is much better compared to last year when it was forced to go for ‘water cuts’ in Thiruvananthapuram city.
‘’The situation is a lot better compared to last year. There is water in the dams, thanks to the rainfall. Some schemes may have been affected, but in general, the situation is under control,’’ KWA managing director A Shainamol said.
But she also added a word of caution. Last year, it was in May that the dams, especially Peppara in Thiruvananthapuram, had run dry. If the Southwest monsoon in June is a normal one as predicted by the IMD, the state will not face a crisis this time.