KSEB pins hopes on normal monsoon to maintain water level in dams operated by it in Kerala

Speaking to The New Indian Express, board chairman N S Pillai said though the dams had good inflow after the pre-monsoon showers, the water level in all reservoirs is well below peak storage capacity

Published: 08th June 2021 03:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th June 2021 03:07 PM   |  A+A-

IDukki Dam

Image of Idukki dam used for representational purpose (File Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the state looking for a normal monsoon season after a record pre-monsoon showers, KSEB which owns around 60 dams is working on maintaining the specific water levels in them and the emergency action plan. Though the state received 108 per cent excess pre-monsoon rainfall, the highest in the last 50 years, KSEB, which manages most of the big dams in the state, is of the view that there is no need to release water from reservoirs now anticipating heavy rain in the following days.

Speaking to The New Indian Express, board chairman N S Pillai said though the dams had good inflow following the pre-monsoon showers, the water levels in all reservoirs are well below the peak storage capacity. Of the board's 60 dams, mostly the water release from Edamalayar, Idukki, Banasura, Sholayar and Kakki (Anathodu) dams has a direct bearing on the flood situation in the state.

Except for Kakki, the water level in the four other dams is significantly low. As on May 31, the water level in Idukki dam was 37% of its storage capacity, 27% in Edamalayar, 11% in Banasura and 26% in Sholayar, while Kakki dam had 46% water.

"Since only a normal monsoon has been forecast, there is no need to empty water from dams anticipating an aberration in climate. In case of any sudden extreme heavy rainfall, KSEB has emergency action plans and rule curves (specific levels to be maintained in each reservoir at different times in a year) to avoid worsening of the situation," Pillai said. The Irrigation Department, which controls 10 dams, has been releasing water in a controlled manner following the heavy pre-monsoon rain this year.  

Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department confirmed that the pre-monsoon (March-April-May) rainfall in Kerala was the highest in the last 50 years (1972-2021) and fourth highest in the last 100 years (1922-2021). But this doesn't mean that Kerala will get a similar excess rainfall in the Southwest Monsoon season as well. The IMD, in its latest updated long-range forecast, maintained that the southern peninsula consisting of Kerala is likely to receive 93-107 per cent rainfall and the seasonal rainfall is likely to be well distributed spatially.

However, in 2019 and 2020, the IMD had forecast normal rains but the state ended up with getting 110% and 109% of the long-period average rainfall. "We prepare our action plans based on the forecast of IMD, but there are times when surplus rain is not evenly distributed in different periods and places. The 2018 flood was one such scenario. However, we are hopeful of maintaining the water levels in dams safely and effectively," said Pillai.


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