BELAGAVI: The gruelling summer has taken its toll on the Almatti dam too. The dam, built across the Krishna in Vijayapura district, is considered the lifeline of north Karnataka. What is worrying is the fact that the water level in the dam is receding rapidly at a time when a large section of people in North Karnataka are already facing acute shortage of drinking water.
Owing to soaring temperatures and the dry spell, there has virtually been no inflow into the dam for the last few months. The situation in Almatti dam-dependent areas is expected to worsen further if water is not released into it from Maharashtra’s Koyna dam, said sources.
About 22 tmcft of water is available in the dam at present of which 18 tmcft is considered “dead storage’’ which can’t be utilised. Of the 4 tmcft available, dam authorities release 220 cusecs of water daily to a power generation plant, sources said adding that water for drinking is being released from the dam regularly to Vijayapura, Bagalkot, Ron, Basavana Bagewadi and surrounding areas.
Several local leaders blame the government for leaving people of North Karnataka in the lurch by releasing 2 tmcft of water to Jurala dam in Telangana. Water is first released from Almatti dam to Narayanpur dam and then from there to Jurala dam.
Meanwhile, a large quantity of water from Almatti dam flows out of it every year unutilised due to the failure of authorities to use it by taking up new projects.
Farmer leaders have appealed to the government to take up projects to utilise Almatti waters judiciously to avoid water crisis.
With the monsoon yet to reach the region, people in drought-hit villages and urban areas are struggling to get water for the past few weeks. In some areas, residents can be seen walking for miles holding pots in
search of water.