Water situation grim in Karnataka, desilt tanks Centre tells state

Water situation grim in Karnataka, desilt tanks Centre tells state

Water situation grim in Karnataka, desilt tanks Centre tells state

Terming the water situation in most parts of Karnataka grim due to deficient rainfall, the Centre on Monday suggested that Karnataka desilt existing water tanks and reservoirs to increase their storage capacity in case of rainfall in coming months.

“Karnataka has been facing drought for the past two years. In correlation with the deficit in rainfall pattern from 1st January to 16th April, 2016, the water levels in all major reservoirs in the state have declined,” says a report on the spot study of the water situation in drought-affected areas of the country (2015-16) prepared by the Central Water Commission.

The report suggested that the state government assign priority to domestic/drinking water for human and livestock consumption as water levels in reservoirs is very low.
The report said water level  in major reservoirs of Karnataka is precariously low. The water level in Krishna river basin reservoirs like Tungabhadra that provide water to districts like Koppal, Ballari etc is a mere 7%, and Ghataprabha that provides water to districts like Belagavi, Vijayapura etc is around 13%. Similarly, Almatti, Malaprabha reservoirs of North Karnataka have very less water. Overall, the scenario in the Krishna river basin of Karnataka state and particularly North Karnataka, is grave.

The  rainfall pattern over South  Karnataka, particularly in the Cauvery basin, also has shown a decline, particularly in the months of February, March and mid-April, 2016.

Therefore, the water levels in Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) is a mere 25%, Kabini 35% and Hemavathy 14%, the report said. The Cauvery basin, particularly districts of Mandya and Chamarajanagar, may face water shortage if there is no rain in the rest of the months of the monsoon season.

In many North Karnataka and Malnad region reservoirs, including Linganamakki, Supa, Ghataprabha and Almatti, the inflows into reservoirs have reduced substantially.

Due to the deficit rainfall since January, 2016, and due to persistent drought for the last two years, it can be reasonably concluded that groundwater tables have plummeted beyond the levels observed in 2012 in the state, the report said.

In some areas, particularly in North Karnataka, and in South Karnataka districts of Tumakuru, Kolar, Chikkaballapur and Chitradurga, the ground water situation is grim.

As on 2015, about 135 taluks of the 176 in 27 districts are facing drought and water shortage.

Moderate rains in parts of state
Kodagu district received 7.34 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours. The water level in Harangi reservoir stood at 2,857.09 feet. Dakshina Kannada district did not receive any rains on Monday. Moderate rains continued to lash Shivamogga district on Monday.
Hosanagar, Thirthahalli, Sagar received good spell of rains till noon. Bhadravathi, some parts of Shivamogga, Shikaripur, Sorab received moderate rains. Water level in Linganamakki dam rose to 1,791.55 feet against maximum level of 1,819 feet. There were reports of drizzling in Ballari, Belagavi and Haveri districts.

Report says...
*Cauvery and Krishna basin reservoirs face severe shortage of water
*Priority should be given to domestic consumption
*Inefficiencies in water distribution networks should be rectified
*Awareness created to prevent waste of potable water
*More water harvesting structures be constructed


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