This summer, parched Kerala will get only half the normal supply of water for irrigation and drinking purposes from the reservoirs of Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), a top official cautioned. The water discharged from the hydro-electric power stations are used in the summer months for the consumption of people and for the survival of farms in drought-prone areas of the state.
On this New Year day, across its 16 dams, KSEB had only enough water left to produce 1,923 million units of electricity.On the same day last year, the figure was 2,738 million units.
“The low water levels in the dams hint at the severity of the drought Malayalis are going to face this year. KSEB might be able to release only 50% of the quantity of water it had given to the irrigation department last year,” said a top official with the KSEB.
According to him, Idukki dam had been discharging 3.6 million cubic metres (mcm) of water on a daily basis last summer, which will be down to 1.8 mcm this summer. “This drop in quantity will affect the irrigation of Muvattupuzha and Piravom areas of Ernakulam district, as the people in these areas had been depending on water from Idukki reservoir during summers,” the official said.
“Similarly , the water from Idamalayar, Pallivasal and Sengulam projects reach the Bhoothathankettu reservoir, which again irrigates the nearby areas of Ernakulam district. This year, the total supply from these projects will come down to 2 mcm per day, compared to last year’s figure of 4 mcm per day ,” the official said.Chalakudy area of Thrissur district will face severe water shortage as the water level is down at the Sholayar reservoir. As Kakki dam’s water level is also low, some parts of the Pathanamthitta district will be affected.
While water scarcity during this summer is an unsolved problem, KSEB has sorted out the expected drop in electricity generation from the hydroelectric projects. “Our strategy is to meet 90% of state’s electricity demands through imports from other states and the rest with domestic generation,” the official said.
KSEB expects the electricity consumption to go up to 2,000 million units (mu) during January and 2,100 – 2,200 mu during February . This will go up to 2,300 mu by April. The board is planning to use the existing storage of water in its reservoirs and the expected inflow from summer rains to generate enough hydro-electric power to cover the lean months. During January , KSEB is targeting to produce be 8 million units of hydel power on a daily basis. This will go up to 9 muday during February , 12 muday for March and 11 muday for April and May . Alex Chiasson Womens Jersey