Drought scourge: 1,112 villages rely on tankers

Officials say that the recent spell of rainfall has eased the situation in many parts and several initiatives, such as the construction of multi-arch check-dams are being taken up to address the perennial crisis in parts of Karnataka. DH file photo

Consecutive drought years and rapid depletion of groundwater levels have resulted in a severe shortage of drinking water in many parts of the state. Data shows that a total of 1,112 villages are being supplied tanker water as nearby water sources have dried up.

Officials say that the recent spell of rainfall has eased the situation in many parts and several initiatives, such as the construction of multi-arch check-dams are being taken up to address the perennial crisis in parts of Karnataka.

More than half the villages where tanker water is being supplied were in six districts of South Interior Karnataka including Chitradurga, Chikballapur and Tumakuru. In each of these districts, more than 100 villages are being supplied tanker water on a daily basis. Among the districts in North Karnataka, Vijayapura is the worst hit, followed by Kalaburagi.

Even Malnad and coastal districts are not spared of the impact of drought, which is intensified by the irregular distribution of rainfall. For instance, as many as 72 villages in Chikkamagaluru district do not have groundwater and are dependent on tankers for drinking water.

G S Srinivasa Reddy, director, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Cell told Deccan Herald that while many districts in Northern Karnataka had integrated water resources due to the presence of Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers, such a system was absent in parts of South Interior Karnataka.

“Due to over-dependence on groundwater, 86% of the wells have shown a declining trend,” he said.

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