Decline in rainy days raises concerns in the region

As monsoon remains elusive, threat of drought looms large

While monsoon showers continue to play hide and seek in the region, a reduction in the number of rainy days has raised concerns. Though the monsoon has covered the entire State, it is yet to yield enough rains. As a result, inflow to one of the major reservoirs in the region, the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam has reduced in the last couple of days.

V S Prakash, former director of Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Cell, said that observations made in various parts of the State in the past few years showed a reduction in the number of rainy days, although average rainfall by and large had remained the same.

As a result, he said that the frequency of dry spells would increase, impacting the water cycle and increasing the vulnerability of agricultural activities.

On the progress of monsoons in the State, he said that it had not been satisfactory as rainfall had not been sufficient in Malnad and interior Karnataka region. He recalled that 2011, 2012 and 2013 were drought years for the State. With indications of an extended dry spell, it would have an adverse affect on groundwater and other water sources, he added.

Weak monsoon

Monsoon is weak in its earlier days, as compared to last year, said C N Prabhu, scientist at KSNMDC. “Last monsoon, rainfall was good during the initial stages of the season.

However, it weakened after the first month or so. This year, however, monsoon is weak during its initial stages. Though this is not very unusual, it is a concern as monsoon is relatively weak for the fourth consecutive year. We are hopeful that monsoon will revive around Wednesday,” he added.

According to P C Rangaraju, Executive Engineer of KRS, inflow into the reservoir has seen a decline in the last couple of days. On Sunday, water level of the reservoir stood at 77.10 feet, as compared to 78.7 feet last year. “Inflow into the reservoir has come down as rainfall has reduced in the Malnad region. We are expecting rains to pick up in catchment areas in the next few days, after which inflow will improve,” he said. Inflow at KRS on Sunday was 12,993 cusecs, while outflow was 2,254 cusecs.

The water level at Kabini reservoir was at 2,269.84 ft, as against 2272.84 ft during the same day last year.

Rainfall

Till June 22, Mysore district received 64.9 mm of rainfall, as against an average of 62.7 mm. During the past week, intensity of monsoons has declined, with the district recording 14.5 mm as against an average of 20.2 mm of rainfall.

Chamarajanagar district, has received 56.9 mm of rainfall, against an average of 42.7 mm. During the last week, the district has recorded 3.1 mm, against an average of 8.9 mm.
In Kodagu district, one of the prime catchment areas of River Cauvery, rainfall during June has been deficient by 27 per cent. While the average for the period is 402.1 mm of rainfall, the district has only received 292.4 mm.

During the last seven days, rainfall appears to have revived, with the district receiving 204.4 mm of rains against an average of 159.8 mm.

Mandya district has recorded 63.7 mm of rainfall against an average of 44.7 mm. During the last week, it has recorded only 2.5 mm, while the average for the week is 10.1 mm.
Hassan district has recorded a rainfall of 233.8 mm against the average of 279.8 mm in June. During the past week, the district received 38.1 mm of rainfall, while the average for the week is 34.1 mm.

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