India: Better dam control helps Karnataka reduce damage

Source(s): Times of India, the
Dinesh Hukmani/Shutterstock
Dinesh Hukmani/Shutterstock

Sudden discharge from dams brimming with rainwater led to flooding in large parts of Karnata last year. The deluge claimed more than 200 lives, damaged crops on 30 lakh hectares of farmland and displaced 3 lakh people. 

The devastation and hard lessons prompted the state government to improve weather monitoring and dam management, and the efforts, especially steady water discharge at intervals, have produced results this year. Compared to 2019, only 42 deaths have been recorded this monsoon season. Crops on 4 lakh hectares suffered damage.

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An integrated dam management mechanism was put in place in coordination with Maharashtra and Kerala. Water release from reservoirs was regulated by taking into account rainfall forecast, possible inflows into the dams and the carrying capacity of rivers downstream. 

“This helped reduce flooding in villages along the river banks. Updates and alerts on dam water release were given well in advance to villages through a new flood forecast cell. Also, water was released at frequent interval,” said [Manoj] Rajan[, commissioner of the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA)]. 

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