Hassan city stares at water crisis as Hemavathi dam hits rock bottom

Minister Manju assures of addressing water woes soon

Hassan city stares at water crisis as Hemavathi dam hits rock bottom

The fast-depleting water level in Hemavathi dam in the taluk, much before the onset of summer, has created anxiety among the people on how the authorities would address the drinking water needs of the city, this year.

Hemavathi dam has a storage capacity of 37.103 tmcft. But only 4.08 tmcft of water available for usage. About 500 cusecs of water is being released from the dam to meet the drinking water demands of the people of the Cauvery basin, triggering resentment among the people of Hassan district.

In an effort to address the issue, the district administration has decided to pump water from the dead storage (not recommended for drinking) and supply it to the city, after purification. An action plan, at an estimated cost of Rs 1.68 crore, has been prepared and the water would be lifted in a week.

20 MLD needed

Hassan city, with a population of 1.5 lakh people, requires 20 million litres per day (MLD) of water. But only 12 MLD is available. The City Municipal Council has been supplying water through tankers.

Following the agitation by JD(S) and various other organisations, District in-charge Minister A Manju got into an action mode. He assured of holding discussions with the chief minister over the release of water from Yagachi reservoir to Hassan city.

Minister Manju explained that water would be lifted from the dead storage level of the Hemavathi dam through pumpsets. The water problem of the city would be addressed within a couple of days, he assured.

Hemavathi River irrigates about 6.55 lakh acres of lands in Hassan, Mandya and Mysuru districts. It may be mentioned that the dam had not reached its maximum level in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2012. The maximum level of the dam is 2,922 ft. There are 4,822 lakes in the district and 80% of them have gone dry. The water table has reached alarming level and most of the borewells have gone defunct.

According to sources, Over 130 villages in the district are dependent on tanker water.  Similarly, water is being supplied to more than 15 wards in the city  through tankers. The situation will improve a bit only if the watershed areas in Sakleshpur in Hassan district and Mudigere in Chikkamagaluru district by March-end.

Meanwhile, the water release from Hemavathi dam into the river continued on Sunday too. The outflow, which was 5,000 cusecs on Saturday, was reduced to 4,025 cusecs by Sunday. The water release will be stopped only after 1 tmcft of water flows into the river through the crest gates, said an official on condition of anonymity.

It is said, there was no water supply to most of the wards in the city on February 27 as it was released into the river and the water was below the jackwell. Sources said, the water was pumped to jackwell by laying pipes.

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