Time to focus on water management

In Tamil Nadu building check dams and desilting existing tanks will go a long way in improving efficiency of water use

The long wait for water has finally come to an end following the discharge of surplus water from Mettur reservoir into the river Cauvery. The Mettur dam, with a capacity of 120 ft, attained the full reservoir level for the 39th time this year in its 85-year history following continuously heavy discharge from the Kabini and Krishnaraja Sagar reservoirs in neighbouring Karnataka.

It is indeed a real feast to the eyes to see the Cauvery brimming with water and farmers are looking forward for a good Sambacrop. However, we cannot be assured of the same situation every time given the the climate experts’ prediction of fewer rainy days in future. Ironically, Tamil Nadu continues to reel under severe water crisis even during the years of a good monsoon. This implies that there are certain crucial factors beyond climate change which either go unnoticed or fail to be recognised as pivotal in explaining the persistent water woes of the State.

Whenever there is a heavy discharge of water from the dams following a good monsoon, incidents of floodwaters being released into the sea and water breaches on the banks of major rivers and canals are reported. The Mettur water inflow into the Grand Anicut Canal had to be stopped a few days back, following a breach on its banks. Similarly, in 2013 farmers of the delta region had voiced concern over the heavy water discharge from the Mettur dam which resulted in flash floods downstream and caused wide breaches in the banks of Kollidam and Lower Anicut. According to an estimate, about 17 tmcft of floodwater was let out into the sea during August 4-8 , 2013, despite people reportedly facing drinking water scarcity in the Cauvery delta, especially in the tail-end areas.....Read more


Source web page: Business Line

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