Stanley Reservoir up to brim: A strong case for Mekedatu Project


With the Cauvery Basin Catchment Area and Wayanad region receiving unprecedented rainfall and with the massive discharge from KRS  and Kabini Dams, the Stanley Reservoir at Mettur has achieved full reservoir level many times over as also two downstream anicuts filling up to the brim,  the Cauvery delta farmers of Tamil Nadu never had it so good. The Stanley Reservoir is up to the brim for the 39th time in its 85-year history. The last time this happened was in August 2013.

The total capacity of Stanley Reservoir is 93.7 TMC (double that of KRS). With the continuous massive discharge from Karnataka, the officials at Mettur Dam have been letting off the surplus water to the river causing floods across six downstream districts of Tamil Nadu. By a rough estimate, so far around 120 – 130 TMC (nearly three times the capacity of KRS) of water has been discharged into the sea!  What a colossal waste of precious fresh water!

The two States have been fighting bitterly over water sharing for decades and interestingly when the Tamil Nadu Government virtually begged Karnataka for three TMC of water in May 2018  to save their Kuruvai crop, the then CM of Karnataka had to politely decline their request because of the precarious water storage in KRS Dam.

Therefore, the decision of Karnataka Government to build a Reservoir with a capacity of 60-65 TMC  near Mekedatu just before the Tamil Nadu border makes eminent sense notwithstanding vehement opposition from Tamil Nadu. With this dam across Mekedatu, a buffer Reservoir is created preventing unnecessary wastage of precious water and also avoid possible threat of floods downstream Mettur Reservoir.

The water stored in the new Reservoir can be used to generate electricity, meet the drinking water requirement of Bengaluru, Ramanagara and neighbouring areas. Even Tamil Nadu can be given water at times of distress. The TN Government, therefore, should not have any objection to this project as long as Karnataka adheres to the Supreme Court guidelines on water sharing. Hope, wiser senses shall prevail and the project sees the light of the day at the earliest. With the execution of this project, it will be a win-win situation for both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

– K.C. Biddappa, Retd.Sr. VP ITC Ltd, Mysuru, 31.8.2018

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