Enough water till June-end; there will be no drinking water crisis, say CNNL Engineers
Mysore/Mysuru: The maximum temperature of the Mysuru district at present is hovering between 34 degrees Celsius to 36.5 degrees Celsius and there is an increased demand for water. Added to the woes of summer, the water level at Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam in Srirangapatna taluk of Mandya district which supplies water to Mysuru, Mandya and Bengaluru districts has come down drastically.
The Dam’s today’s level stands at 85.96 ft as against the maximum level of 124.80 ft. Last year (2022), on May 3, the water level stood at 99.57 ft. The temperature levels in the days ahead are set to increase further and the evaporation rate, coupled with discharge to canals, is expected to further reduce the storage levels.
The onset of South West Monsoon is still more than one and a half months away but sources at the Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Limited (CNNL) which manages the KRS Dam and all the other dams along the Cauvery Basin told Star of Mysore this morning that the water level at KRS is sufficient to meet the anticipated water requirements of the people in Mysuru, Mandya and Bengaluru regions till June-end.
“As per the norm, the South West Monsoon is expected to hit the Mysuru region in the second or third week of June and this year too there will be a normal monsoon. We will feel the pinch or a crisis situation only if it does not rain even in July,” CNNL engineers said.
Why a steady decline?
Water level at the Dam has seen a steady decline since Apr. 1, 2023. (See table on page 1). When compared to this year, the last year’s water data was more comfortable and even in May first week, the water level stood at over 99 ft as against the maximum level of 124.80 ft.
“Last year, it rained heavily in the catchment areas of Kodagu in the month of March and as a result, the inflow was high. This year, there has been no substantial rain since January in Kodagu and even in the Mysuru region. This has contributed to the decreasing water levels at KRS Dam,” engineers said.
Decrease in inflow
Inflow to the KRS Dam, in fact, had drastically decreased in March 2023 itself. The Reservoir was receiving a bare-minimum inflow of 139 cusecs which was the lowest. Usually, even in hot summer months, the Dam gets an inflow of up to 400 to 500 cusecs as there are a lot of perennial water springs in the Cauvery River.
When asked about the steady decrease in the storage level this year, engineers said that they have the commitment to release water for the standing crops in Mandya. “Farmers need water for their standing crops like paddy, ragi and sugarcane. We release water continuously to the VC Canal for 10 days giving a break of 15 days. This has been a norm and we need to follow it. No water is being released to the riverside,” they added.
“There will be a crisis situation only if it does not rain in July and we had a similar situation four years back where the water to VC Canal was stopped, fully reserving the water for drinking purposes,” an engineer added.
Hale Unduwadi project pending
CNNL sources said that at present, only 60 percent of the ambitious Hale Unduwadi Drinking Water Project aimed at supplying drinking water to Mysuru City and 92 villages has been completed. The project aims to supply an initial demand of 150 MLD (Million Litres per Day) and 300 MLD in the entire project. This would be in addition to 250 MLD being supplied to the city at present.
The project ensures an unhindered supply of water from the KRS Dam even when the water at the reservoir reaches the Dead Storage Level of 74.76 ft. “It will take at least four to five months for the Hale Unduwadi project to be completed,” CNNL sources added.
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