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Hydropower reservoir capacity remains low

Recent rains which wreaked havoc in some parts of the country have had no effect on the hydro-power reservoirs. The water levels of three out of six main reservoirs are still below maximum capacity, according to the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry.

Currently, the country’s hydro-power generation capacity has risen to 48.08 percent from 27.03 percent due to rains.

Power and Renewable Energy Ministry Director (Development) Sulakshana Jayawardene told The Island that the heavy rains that lashed the country last month had not been experienced in the catchment areas.

The capacity of six main reservoirs namely Castlereagh, Maussakale, Kotmale, Victoria, Randenigala and Samanalawewa was at 76.04%, 76.06%, 70.02%, 33.05%, 33.03% and 37.06% respectively, Jayawardena said.

Explaining the situation, he said that last year, too, the reservoirs had not received much rain even though Colombo had experienced heavy rains and floods.

Jayawardene said a rise in water level did not necessarily indicate a corresponding increase in the capacity of a reservoir.

Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has said the water level at hydro-power reservoirs have gone up by just five per cent after the recent rains.

Only the Kukuleganga reservoir reached spill level during rains and that was a very small one, the Minister said.

The current capacity of major hydro-power reservoirs is hovering at about 35 per cent, the lowest such level at this time period over the past decade, he claimed.

Highlighting the importance of power conservation Minister Siyambalapitiya assured power cuts would not be imposed.

He asked the public to conserve more power.

The measures include replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, controlling minimum temperature in air conditioners to 26 Degrees Celsius and issuing a circular instructing Local Government institutions to switch on their street lamps one hour after the usual time in the evening and one hour earlier than usual in the mornings. In addition, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is also to introduce several programmes to reward customers who save more electricity.

According to CEB, between 25 and 30 per cent of the demand amounting to some 38 Giga Watts was generated by hydro power plants while five per cent from wind power and the rest from thermal power plants.

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