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A bountiful monsoon resulting in with brimming rivers has underscored Tamil Nadu’s inadequate storage on the Cauvery. Following copious rains in Karnataka, the Stanley reservoir at Mettur dam is releasing 25,500 cusecs into the river course. It would have been a happy situation for Tamil Nadu had the state been equipped with one more dam downstream on the Cauvery before it reached the Delta districts. But now despite the abundance, the state is not able to harvest the water, not just from the Cauvery but also Palar, Chinnar and Thoppayuru rivers.
As a result, people living downstream of the dam along the Cauvery have been warned of floods and told to keep away from the river. Harking back to the olden times, thandora drummers have been sent into villages to warn people in low-lying areas.
The water level in the Mettur dam stood at 120 feet which is the maximum level it can hold but the state can lift only 93.47 TMC and the rest is dead storage. The Stanley Reservoir, built by the British 88 years ago, is filling up to its brim for the 42nd time since its commissioning.
Inmathi.com had earlier reported extensively on the impact of the excessive rains in Karnataka on the water situation in Tamil Nadu. But the current inflow is overwhelming with Stanley reservoir recording 25,000 cusecs per day since June 30, according to officials in the engineering division of the reservoir in Mettur. The water released by the Krishnaraja Sagar dam in Mandya district in Karnataka has remained more or less the same at the Biligondlu measuring facility on the border of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The officials at the Krishnaraja Sagar, however, were tight-lipped on the issue as water sharing with Tamil Nadu is fraught with political overtones.
The water level in the Mettur dam stood at 120 feet which is the maximum level it can hold but the state can lift only 93.47 TMC and the rest is dead storage. The Stanley Reservoir, built by the British 88 years ago, is filling up to its brim for the 42nd time since its commissioning
Water historians in Tamil Nadu recall that in 2017, the state had let over 100 TMC of water into the delta districts and then into the Bay of Bengal. Scientists at the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa, however, point out that water storage inland has to be calibrated as the freshwater ingress into the sea during the monsoons maintains salinity levels and keeps the conditions of the sea waters at a healthy level.
It is perhaps with this in mind the planners allowed the Cauvery to flow unbridled to a large part of Tamil Nadu. If the situation of 2017 will repeat this year too? When asked,- The officials at the Mettur dam engineering division said that might not happen as the system of channelling the excess water to other storage facilities in the state might save at least 30 per cent of the excess water that the state gets in an extraordinary water year like 2022.
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