The live storage in the four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin had reached 13.51 tmcft and may hit dead storage levels soon.

Cant release 2000 cusecs water to TN daily due to water crisis says Karnataka
news Water Shortage Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 10:02

Karnataka has officially been declared drought-hit with the water level in the KRS dam reaching a record low.

The government, on Friday, explained to the Cauvery Supervisory Committee (CSC) the acute water shortage being faced in the state, especially in the Cauvery river basin due to the successive and severe droughts, The New Indian Express reported.

It also conveyed to the committee its inability to continue releasing 2,000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu due to the existing water crisis.

The CSC meeting was chaired by Union Water Resources Minister Shashi Shekhar in New Delhi on Friday.

The Karnataka Chief Secretary, Subhash Chandra Kuntia, told the committee that although the water inflow is extremely low in Karnataka’s reservoirs, the state has ensured that 3.67 lakh cusecs would be released to Tamil Nadu from Biligundlu from September 2016 to February 13, 2017, the report added.

The Chief Secretary said that the live storage in the four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin had reached 13.51 tmcft on February 13 and considering that Bengaluru alone requires 13.22 tmcft, the state was facing a severe water crisis.

Stating these reasons, Khuntia told the committee that Karnataka would not be able to comply with the Supreme Court’s order and release 2,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu every day, the report adds.

The water level at the Krishna Raja Sagar dam, on February 9, stood at 78.96 ft, while the maximum capacity of the dam is 124.8 ft. The live storage level of the dam is 1.955 tmcft, after which the government will have to ask the irrigation officials to draw water from the dead storage.

At 2.32 tmcft, the Kabini reservoir has less than half the water it held last year, and just over one eighth of its total capacity. Bengaluru alone requires 2 tmcft water every month.

The inflow of water has not crossed 300 cusecs in the last two months, which is the same amount released into the river according to the Supreme Court order.

The dam authorities admitted to being ill-equipped to draw water from the bottom of the reservoirs without letting the process affect the dam, media reports suggested.

Dead storage in the two reservoirs is when the water touches 60ft, where only 4.4 tmcft water is available. The water level will reach the dead storage level if pre-monsoon showers fail.

In addition to the drinking water supply, the rapid rate of evaporation, and the water being released to Tamil Nadu, the fear is that the reservoirs' water levels will soon deplete, dam authorities had said earlier in February.