BENGALURU: Inadequate rains and poor storage in the state’s reservoirs forced the state Cabinet on Wednesday to decide against releasing water from KRS, Kabini, Hemavathy, Harangi and Bhadra reservoirs for paddy crops. Water from these dams will be released only for drinking.
The Cabinet also decided to take up cloud seeding to induce rains as part of its efforts to improve the storage in the reservoirs.
The reservoirs in the Cauvery and Tunga Bhadra basins are only half full. Farmers will be asked not to cultivate paddy but to go in for other non-water intensive crops.
With the southwest monsoon being 24 per cent deficient up to August 8 in Malnad, the storage level in reservoirs in the Cauvery basin is low compared to last year, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra said after the Cabinet meting.
The storage in KRS was 20.99 tmcft as against its capacity of 49.45 tmcft.
The storage in the corresponding period last year was 28.37 tmcft. Inflow into KRS stood at 9,603 cusecs against the outflow of 7,880 cusecs.
The storage level in Bhadra dam was 37.37 tmcft as against its capacity of 71.53 tmcft. The storage level in the corresponding period last year was 49.75 tmcft. Inflow into the dam stood at 7,126 cusecs against the outflow of 2,985 cusecs.
However, there was no shortfall in rains or water storage level in Almatti and Narayanapura dams built across Krishna river.
The Deputy Commissioners have been instructed not to give permission for digging borewells in the wake of declining groundwater levels.
The Cabinet has authorised the agricutlure department to take up cloud seeding. It is estimated to cost about Rs 30cr and preliminary preparations have begun.