Dam floods · Krishna River · Maharashtra

Maharashtra’s Upper Krishna Basin again faces prospects of Dam Floods?

Seven major dams with high storage capacities in Upper Krishna Basin in Maharashtra’s Satara and Sangli districts have huge 1422.12 Million Cubic Meters (MCM) water in live storage as on May 30, 2020, just about a week away from the prospects of beginning of monsoon. The Wadnere committee’s efforts not withstanding, there is no doubt that almost simultaneous water release from these seven dams played a major role in creating highest ever flood levels in Maharashtra’s Upper Krishna Basin in August 2019. Though on this day last year, these seven dams had much lower water in live storage at 556.49 MCM, the almost simultaneous water release from these dams hugely contributed to the unprecedented flood disaster in Sangli district last year. With 256% water in live storage this year compared to last year on this date, the risk of these dams contributing to flood disaster in Sangli district is even greater this year. Unless the authorities in the water resources department, district administration and disaster management authorities wake up and ensure that these dams help moderate rather than contribute to floods. Continue reading “Maharashtra’s Upper Krishna Basin again faces prospects of Dam Floods?”

Dam floods · Maharashtra

Maharashtra Floods 2019: Don’t waste the crisis

Guest Blog by Pradeep Purandare

Abstract: Flood Study Committee in Maharashtra has set up a record of sorts by not only denying technical information to its member but even excluding his chapter altogether from the final draft report. The humiliated member who opted to quit the committee shares his experience in this article. The article highlights: (1) the report was finalized without detailed discussions on all chapters together, (2)  Maharashtra is well equipped with theory of ROS (Reservoir Operation Schedule) & Flood Zoning but doesn’t implement the same,  (3) Maharashtra wasted full 13 years by not implementing the recommendations of Wadnere Committee-1 regarding revised ROS & integrated reservoir operation,  (4) Total absence of flood management governance & (5) most importantly, the simulation study carried out by the committee indicates that backwater effect of Almatti project is not responsible for Maharashtra floods 2019. Next, the paper explains WRD’s (Water Resources Department) viewpoint regarding Maharashtra Floods 2019 & its emphasis on structural measures.  The paper then points out WRD’s strange policy, raises questions regarding reliability of discharge measurement at observation points & makes following critical comment on Reservoir Operation.

“There is, therefore, room to believe that had there been the implementation of revised ROS as recommended by Wadnere Committee -1, less storage in the dams in the last week of July 2019 & staggered outflow from 9 projects based on  the principle of integrated ROS, the flood situation would have been different & comparatively speaking less severe.”

In the end, the author requests the govt to follow the principle – “Don’t waste the crisis” and

  • Take a critical review of the State’s preparedness regarding Flood Moderation
  • Adopt & Implement the concept of Integrated Reservoir Operation
  • Don’t make compromises in respect of flood zoning
  • Ask Wadnere Committee-2 to make amendments in its report & modus operandi as well.

Continue reading “Maharashtra Floods 2019: Don’t waste the crisis”