BENGALURU: There are concerns over whether the state will face water scarcity this year as reservoir levels in the state are not up to the mark yet. Matters may not be as grim as Water Resources Minister M B Patil put it recently and experts hope that reservoir levels will improve with the monsoon picking up.
Deficient rainfall in the Malnad region, owing to a weak monsoon till date, has been the main cause for the slow pace at which reservoir levels are improving.
Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) officials are confident that there are enough resources to supply water to the city for now.
Data on reservoir levels in the state paint an alarming picture, as water levels have been much less than the levels recorded during the same period last year.
For instance, at Krishnarajasagar (KRS) reservoir, one of the major sources of water for Bengaluru, reservoir level on June 25 was 91.6 feet (above local ground level) as compared to 69.34 feet on the same date last year. The total storage at KRS on June 25 was 6.82 tmcft as against 16.9 tmc ft last year. The dam has a total storage of 49.45 tmc ft.
A similar situation is seen at Linganmakki, Supa, Tungabhadra and Almatti reservoirs, which have a storage capacity of 100 tmcft or more. All these reservoirs have about 10-18 tmc ft water lower than what they had last year.
While moderate showers across the state has reduced fears of an early crop loss, lack of adequate showers in Malnad region has been a concern.
Though showers in the prime catchment areas of the state is expected to improve in the first week of July, inadequate showers in June has led to little inflow to the reservoirs.
The Malnad region, which receives an average of 282.1 mm between June 1 and 26, has received only 184.2 mm rainfall, fuelling concerns.
Kodagu district has been the worst hit, as it has received 266.2 mm rainfall, as against an average of 497.3 mm for the period, resulting in deficient rainfall of 46.5 per cent.
Speaking to Express, G S Srinivas Reddy, Director of Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Cell, said that inflow to reservoirs in the state will improve as good showers are forecast in the first week of July.
“Since we had faced a drought last year, it will take some time for the inflow at reservoirs to improve. “Run-off to the reservoirs will pick up after other water bodies are saturated. Due to drought, evaporation losses and deficient pre-monsoon showers this year, it is taking time,” he said. Coastal areas have been receiving good showers. However, monsoon is currently weak to generate the same amount of showers in Malnad region, which is set to change, he added.
He said sowing has not been affected in any part of the state, as the rain so far has been adequate for that.
When contacted, Tushar Girinath, chairperson of BWSSB, said that though the situation was not grim yet, it would change based on rainfall in the coming days.
“We are not pressing the panic button now. Demand for water has come down during the season and people too are taking conservation measures. If rains continue to be deficient, it will have an effect,” he said.