The dam levels over Cauvery Basin and other important irrigation projects of Tamil Nadu continues to remain critical despite 40% of the monsoon season gone so far. In what is a worrying trend if one were to compare the levels against similar time last year the overall Cauvery Basin of Karnataka & Mettur is roughly at one third of last year’s level. Despite a poor monsoon during 2016 we are actually worse off in comparison to last year indicating the challenge ahead for us.
The situation is the same over most of the other important reservoirs of Tamil Nadu with levels continuing to be alarmingly low and critical. While models indicate a good few days ahead for most places along the Western Ghats which will go a long way in improving the storage levels what we need desparately is an active monsoon period over Karnataka & Kerala on a near daily basis for a fortnight at least to bring a better time for the dams.
The Cauvery Basin is indeed in an absolutely critical position as normally by this time Harangi in Kodagu district, the smaller of the dams in the basin, and Kabini which draws a lot of its inflow from Wayanad district of Kerala would be nearing Full Reservoir levels and start contributing some discharge into KRS and Mettur respectively. With Kabini still only about 50% full and Harangi less than 50% full they have not contributed actively to downstream reservoirs. With Kodagu district expecting good rains in the next couple of days we could possibly expect Harangi to the be the first reservoir to get to FRH by possibly end of this week.
Nevertheless it looks increasing likely we are possibly going to see another couple of weeks at least before we can possibly see a viable improvement in the storage levels of Cauvery Basin and as things stand we could possibly another year where the two important dams in the basin KRS & Mettur could see a deficit year in terms of storage and requirement for the year ahead.
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