The Mettur storage, Inflow & Outflow data is like a bible for not only Delta farmers but off late the weather watchers of Chennai as well due to the key role Veeranam is playing in mitigating the drinking water crisis. On the back of a very good 2019 which saw late monsoon flourish during August & September the storage levels of Cauvery basin reservoirs started on a very good wicket this year resulting in the opening of Mettur Dam for Delta cultivation on its traditional date of June 12th.
The last few days has seen Southwest Monsoon activate the beast mode with very heavy rains reported at many places along the Ghats in particular. Mumbai metropolis is struggling since last evening due to nonstop spell of rains from the afternoon. Kodagu district that was remaining quiet since the start of the monsoon has been seeing relentless rains for the past couple of days resulting in heavy inflows into Harangi & Krishnaraja Sagar Dam. With the catchment areas of Hemavathi also seeing good rains except for Harangi the other three Cauvery dams in the state have started recording more than 2 TMC inflows.
With the current storage levels in Karnataka dams nearly 60% more than last year at same time by weekend we can expect both the bigger dams KRS & Hemavathi to inch closer to Full capacity. Despite Mettur discharging more than 6 TMC for Delta over the past couple of weeks or so the current year’s storage is more than 8 TMC higher than last year at same time. With weather models indicating well above average rains over the catchment areas of Cauvery for the next few days we might possibly see the season’s 1st 1 lach cusecs into basin by weekend.
With Bhavanisagar also fast reaching FRL due to the extreme rains Nilgiris district has been recording it gives a very good opportunity to balance the Mettur storage and delta needs. All in All it appears we are possibly heading for a 3rd straight good year for the Cauvery Basin. The only word of caution is once the dams are at the FRL any extreme spells once again is likely to bring a lot of anxiety to the water managers across the southern states.