First time in 20 years, Cauvery River dams brimming with water after heavy rains in Karnataka

Updated on Jul 17, 2018 03:35 PM IST

Karnataka has been releasing nearly one lakh cusecs of water from the Cauvery to Tamil Nadu as a result. The two states have been involved in a water sharing dispute for decades.

Heavy flow at Hogenakkal Falls, in Dharmapuri on Friday.(PTI File Photo)
Heavy flow at Hogenakkal Falls, in Dharmapuri on Friday.(PTI File Photo)
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru | ByHT Correspondent

All four major Cauvery River dams in Karnataka – Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS), Kabini, Harangi and Hemavathi – are full even before July has ended after over 20 years because of heavy rains.

Karnataka has been releasing nearly one lakh cusecs of water from the Cauvery to Tamil Nadu as a result. The two states have been involved in a water sharing dispute for decades.

The last time such heavy inflow was seen was in 1992-93, according to a Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Ltd (CNNL) official, who did not want to be identified. CNNL is a Karnataka government undertaking responsible for managing irrigation projects

“For instance, the full capacity of KRS in Mysuru is 124.8 feet. We are now already at 123.05 feet. Last year at the same time, we were at 78.25 feet,” the official added. He said they have released enough water till August as the Cauvery Water Management Board has mandated.

The official said there is unlikely to be an issue in sharing water with Tamil Nadu this year with heavy rains forecast at least for the next week and continued inflow in the catchment areas.

“The release of the copious amount of water all along the Cauvery delta will ensure recharge of groundwater, fill up lakes and ponds which will aid both states,” he added.

He said the national disaster rescue force, fire and emergency services, home guards and civil defence forces were ready to aid anybody affected by the rains and consequent floods.

Entry of visitors to the Ranganthitu bird sanctuary on the banks of Cauvery in Srirangapatna has been barred.

Flood warnings have been issued in western districts of Tamil Nadu, including Dharmapuri and Salem districts. People living in low-lying areas of Mettur dam in Tamil Nadu have been asked to move to higher places along with their livestock.

The Tamil Nadu government had recently said no water will be released for Kuruvai (short-term) crops citing the need to preserve it for drinking purposes. On Monday, it announced the opening of gates of Stanley Reservoir to provide water following the heavy inflow from Karnataka.

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