BANGALORE: With drought situation looming large over more than 120 taluks across the state, the water levels in major reservoirs like Hemavathi, Tungabhadra, Ghataprabha and Malaprabha dipped by 50 per cent as compared to last year.
With Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda stating that officials would be held responsible if they failed to solve drinking water woes, the decrease in water level gave sleepless nights to bureaucrats.
According to Director of Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre V S Prakash, the state witnessed such a decrease after 40 years.
Bangalore, Mysore, Ramanagaram, Mandya, Hassan and Tumkur are worst-hit and were relying on the reservoirs of the Cauvery delta. while Chikmagalur, Balgalkot, Bidar, Gulbarga, Bellary, Koppal, Gadag, Haveri, Raichur and Bijapur fall under the Krishna delta regions.
Speaking to Express, Prakash said, “Usually lakes, rivers and other water bodies fill due to the back-shower water during the rains in September and October. But due to lack of rains in 2011, the storage capacity dropped considerably. We have to manage with the water left in the reservoir till next monsoon.”
According to Prakash, the increase in population and industries added to the shortage. He advised farmers to grow crops that consumed less water.
“This condition has to be taken seriously and a water policy has to be introduced on the effective use of water which is widely practised in other countries,” said Prakash. Director of research at the Dharwad University of Agricultural Science Dr P S Salimath said paddy growers in Hassan and Shimoga would be affected by the shortage.
“The effect of climate change will have a long-term impact and the department is researching it. We are constantly updating farmers to change the crop pattern with changing climatic conditions,” said Salimath.