Water level in 2 major dams depleting rapidly

But no water scarcity till May 15, says Udupi City Municipal Council official

Severe drought seems to be surfacing as water level in the two major reservoirs built across Swarna river is depleting rapidly.

The Shiroor reservoir has dried up and the water level is minimum at the one at Baje. The water at Shiroor reservoir has flown down towards the slopes to Baje reservoir. As a result, the Shiroor reservoir has almost dried up. The little water at the bottom in the depth area is not available for drawing. This dam is some five kilometers away from the Baje reservoir and is situated at the upper land area, officials said.

They said inflow of water usually stops on February 2 or 3 usually. The planks put across the Shiroor reservoir will be removed one by one as the water level goes on decreasing, which ensures the flow of water downwards to the Baje reservoir. All the planks are generally removed by March 15 or 20. As of now, Baje dam is the only ray of hope. Water supply from this dam may not last for a longer period, if it does not rain in another couple of weeks, they noted.

City Municipal Council (CM-C) water engineer Ganesh told Deccan Herald that there will be no water scarcity up to May 15. There may be a problem after May 15. If the rains start by then, there will be no problem within the city limits, he added. 

Ganesh said the second phase of Swarna river project is the only water source for the entire Udupi city and surrounding seven panchayats. The increasing number of water connections every year has created an alarming situation. In the years to come, the scenario would be worst during summer. An alternative is indeed required to meet the demands of all people, he said.

The third reservoir is proposed at End Point in Manipal, which will be realised under ADB scheme. However, the project completion may take some time as it is still in the nascent stage, he added.  
CMC President Meenakshi Madhav said there will not be problems for another 25 days as water is being utilised judiciously.

People should be aware of the water problem and stop using water for purposes other than drinking and household works, she added. She said, “It is feasible to water plants when people themselves are facing acute shortage of water. Some people go to the extent of using water to wash vehicles.” 

Meenakshi said water is stored at the bottom of in Swarna river. If the water in the upper layer evaporates, the water from these deep pools within the river will be drawn to ensure minimum water to all households, she added.

She said houses at elevated areas are not receiving water due to low pressure. Measures have been taken to solve the technical hurdles affecting the free flow of the water. However, rains are expected soon, she added.

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