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Flash floods push water levels up in big reservoirs like Pong, Bhakra and Tehri

Devastating floods have come to the rescue of drying reservoirs, improving their water storage level – vital for hydro power generation and winter crops after a deficient monsoon.

Updated: Aug 08, 2012, 12.27 PM IST
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NEW DELHI | CHANDIGARH: Devastating floods in Uttarakhand , Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh may have caused huge damage and claimed several lives but they have come to the rescue of drying reservoirs, improving their water storage level – vital for hydro power generation and winter crops after a deficient monsoon.

“The recent flash floods in these states must have improved the water storage levels in reservoirs like Pong, Bhakra and Tehri which is important for irrigation , drinking water and power generation,” said a senior official of the Central Water Commission (CWC). The highest water influx has been visible at the Tehri reservoir in Uttarakhand where the storage has almost doubled from 42% of the capacity on August 2 to 85%.

Tehri reservoir feeds THDC India, a 1000-MW hydel power project, for power generation, which is shared by northern states through the grid. “The reservoir has filled up dramatically in the last couple of days. Now there is nothing to worry with the present water storage.

It’s likely to improve as the reservoir gets water till end of September ,” said a THDC executive. The storage levels at the Bhakra reservoir and Pong dam, which span across Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, have also improved to a large extent. “The water level at Bhakra reservoir has increased by 5 feet in the last couple of days while the level at Pong dam has gone up by 33 feet.

When the flood ravaged the villages of Himachal Pradesh, Pong had an influx of over 1.5 lakh cusec water in a single day improving the water levels dramatically,” said SL Aggarwal, member irrigation , Bhakra Beas Management Board. According to the board, the storage capacity at Bhakra has gone up from 30% as on August 2 to 48% while the level at Pong dam has jumped to 58% from 19% as on August 2, coming closer to last year’s level of 64% each.

“Reservoirs are likely to get more water as influx of flood water continues. With water level inching up, concerns over irrigation and power generation will ease,” he said. A rise in the water level at the Bhakra dam will bring relief to the partnering states –– Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan as water outflow to these states had been cut by 10% due to low water level. Power generation will improve at the 2,865-mw Bhakra-Bhakra hydro power project which supplies power to the national grid.

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