Threat of drinking water shortage looms large in Karnataka

Rainfall has been deficient by 70 per cent in the first 19 days of October in the state.

Published: 20th October 2016 01:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th October 2016 04:14 AM   |  A+A-

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With no rainfall forecast until October 26, officials expect temperatures to soar leading to higher evaporation loss in reservoirs | Express

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Rainfall has been deficient for the third consecutive month in south-interior Karnataka this year. Farmers’ leaders feel that Wednesday’s Supreme Court directive on releasing 2,000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu till further orders, is like rubbing salt into their wounds who already suffering from crop losses.

The other serious concern, according to experts, is the possible drinking water crisis in summer months as soaring temperatures will amplify evaporation losses at reservoirs.

Farmers’ leader and Sarvodaya Karnataka Paksha MLA K S Puttannaiah said that the Supreme Court has not understood the ground realities before passing the order. “It does not mention the reason for which the water is being released. Such judgments will cloud people’s opinion about the esteemed court,” he said.

Since crops in the pockets of land under cultivation could not be saved, the state government must declare a crop holiday, he said.Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha general secretary Badagalapura Nagendra said that at a time when there is no rainfall, the Supreme Court should have been considerate about the woes of farmers. “We have been able to cultivate in less than one-fourth of the Cauvery command area. Even in patches where crops have been cultivated, farmers are struggling to save the crops,” he added.

Evaporation loss

As rainfall has been deficient by 70 per cent in the first 19 days of October, temperatures are expected to soar in the coming days. Speaking to Express, G S Srinivas Reddy of Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Cell said that drinking water problem was certain if the current scenario continues.

“If there is any depression leading to good rainfall, we might be rescued. Or else, we are definitely going to face a problem,” he said. No rainfall is forecast till October 26. To a question, he said that evaporation losses are also expected to be on the higher side, which might lead to a shortage of drinking water.

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