Down To Earth
By Shagun Kapil
The onset of the monsoon has raised fears of dam-induced floods as India’s major reservoirs are already full. Live storage in 123 reservoirs was 55.837 billion cubic metres (BCM), according to data released by the Central Water Commission (CWC) on June 4, 2020.
It is, thus, crucial to carefully manage the release of water from dams, as the monsoon reaches the rest of the country in the coming days.
The rule curve — an international practice of dam operation — must be followed by dam management authorities, as any lapse may lead to dam-induced floods, of which there are several instances in the country.
Mismanagement occurs when sufficient water is not released initially and — as rains intensify and reservoirs bulge — operators suddenly begin releasing water.
One of the reasons for this was reduced power consumption due to the lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The hydroelectric dam, as a result, is underworked. Another reason is that two of the six generators at Idduki dam are not functioning.