BENGALURU: The state is likely to face a shortage of drinking water this summer as levels have dipped at the reservoirs.
With an early summer coming up, drinking water supply is is likely to be hit, and an official source attributed the looming crisis to a poor monsoon. Bengaluru needs 1.5 thousand million cubic (TMC) ft of water a month. This works out to 1,400 million litres a day. The supply is drawn from KRS and TG Halli reservoirs.Dry days lie ahead, sources at the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) told Express. “We have to struggle to supply 1.5 TMC every month till June,” an official said.
BWSSB Chairman T M Vijay Bhaskar is optimistic, though. “We have written to the Department of Irrigation to reserve water for Bengaluru at the KRS reservoir. They have agreed and saved up. The drinking water problem can be addressed this way,” he said.
According to statistics with Express, all 13 major reservoirs have lower levels than they did at the corresponding time last year.
The Tungabhadra reservoir has a capacity of 100.86 TMC. On Saturday, it had only 9.55 TMC, as against 38.46 TMC last year. Almatti reservoir can hold 123.08 TMC. It now has 25.75 TMC as against last year’s 44.23 TMC. The situation is same at Linganamakki, with a capacity of 151.75 TMC. Its level is 62.7 TMC, as against 85.31 TMC last year.
Sources from the Water Resources Department said levels had come down drastically in February, even before the advent of summer.
“This monsoon, rainfall was not as expected,” he said. The state government identified 137 taluks as drought-affected, as against 98 last year. “This year, the crisis may be severe,” he said.
The Irrigation Department has alerted farmers to the forecast for them to plan rabi for crops.
“Water Resources Minister M B Patil has directed officials not to to draw water for irrigation and industries,” the source said. “Drinking water is priority.”