Dams can meet drinking water needs for 2 months, says govt

Minister says BWSSB should start rationing water supply

Dams can meet drinking water needs for 2 months, says govt

Water available in various reservoirs of the state are enough only to supply drinking water to major cities and towns, including Bengaluru, for the next 60 days, Water Resources Minister M B Patil said on Monday.

Bengaluru requires 600 cusecs of water every day. We (Water Resources department) have taken measures to ensure supply of 800 cusecs per day (about 200 cusecs is lost in transition) till June 15. However, it is advisable for the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to start rationing the water supply, he told reporters.

“A total of 7.748 tmcft of water (live storage) is available at the KRS and the Kabini reservoirs in the Cauvery basin. Bengaluru alone needs an estimated 4.14 tmcft of water for the next two months. We are confident of ensuring water supply to Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mandya and others towns in the Cauvery basin region for the next 60 days,” he said. The water level has touched rock bottom in all the reservoirs due to successive years of drought and failure of monsoon rains last year, he added.

Patil said water available in important reservoirs in north Karnataka such as Almatti, Narayanapur, Malaprabha and Singtalur is enough to supply drinking water to people living in nearby cities and towns till June this year. However, in the Tungabhadra reservoir, water level is 1.7 tmcft against the requirement of 2.3 tmcft. Therefore, the Maharashtra government has been requested to release 2 tmc feet of the Krishna river water to Karnataka, the minister said.

Maharashtra government has said that it will give water to Karnataka only if the state releases 2 tmcft of water from the Narayanpura dam to the parched Solapur area in the neighbouring state. “We are ready to release 2 tmcft in May to Maharashtra. A team of Water Resources department officials from Karnataka will soon meet their counterparts in Maharashtra and urge them to release water. If necessary, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will talk to his Maharashtra counterpart in this regard,” Patil said.

No water for irrigation
The minister urged farmers in the state not to use the available water in reservoirs for irrigation. Co-operation of the farmers is a must for ensuring drinking water supply to major cities and towns in the coming days, he added.

As a contingency plan, the government has started preparations for conducting cloud seeding in June. The monsoon winds will start blowing from June. Cloud seeding will be done irrespective of whether it rains or not. Last year, cloud seeding could not be done due to lack of preparations on the part of the government, he said.

Asked about the Supreme Court order to the state to release 2,000 cusecs of the Cauvery water every day to Tamil Nadu, Patil said Karnataka is not in a position to release water to the neighbouring state.

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