BHUBANESWAR : Discharge of water from major reservoirs ahead of cyclone Hud Hud to create a cushioning space for possible high inflow of flood water may prove costly for the State if there will be no further rain.
Since the State meets nearly half of its peak power demand of 3,700 mw during summer from hydro power sources, low water level in the reservoirs will hit power generation as release of water is regulated by the Water Resources Department for irrigation purpose.
With monsoon remaining very active in the State in the last three months, water level in Hirakud reservoir touched 630 feet (ft), the full reservoir level, on September 29.
Anticipating heavy rain in the upper catchments of Mahanadi river system due to Hud Hud, the dam authority opened 15 sluice gates two days before the cyclone, bringing down the water level from 629.5 ft to 624.83 ft. Even as rainfall of 36.84 mm was recorded in the upper catchments of the dam till Tuesday, water level in the reservoir marginally increased to 625.87 ft on Thursday. The dam authorities are confident that the reservoir will be full by October 20 as the inflow has improved significantly.
As the Meteorological Department predicted that the cyclone would pass through Koraput and there was a possibility of upper catchments of Indravati receiving heavy rains, the dam authorities released water in advance to keep the water level below 640 metre mark, two metre less than the full reservoir level of 642 metre.
Although the cyclonic system took the predicted course, the rainfall in the upper catchments of Indravati, Upper Kolab and Balimela river system was much less than anticipated.