HASSAN: The plight of farmers is no different in Hassan and Chikkamagaluru districts, which depend on Yagachi river, a tributary of the Hemavathi.
For the first time since the construction of the Yagachi dam in 2003-04, the water level has dropped to an all-time low of 1.25 tmcft, excluding the dead storage. The total capacity of the dam is 3.603 tmcft.
According to officials, the average rainfall is 777 mm between June and September. However, this time, the rainfall received was only 377 mm.
T Rangaswamy, Assistant Executive Engineer, Yagachi sub-division, said the dam water caters to the drinking water needs of Belur, Chikkamagaluru and the fluoride-affected villages of Arasikere.
In order to meet their drinking water needs, they need at least 0.37 tmcft of water till May.
No water was being supplied for irrigation on account of poor rainfall. Belur, Hassan and Alur are dependent on the dam to irrigate 37,000 acres. The canal network runs hundreds of kilometres. Only those who have borewells have taken to growing crops such as ginger, officials added.
The dam has to get water from Chikkamagaluru and Moodigere catchment areas.
Even a flash flood will make the situation much better. However, rains are nowhere in sight in these areas.
Officials say that while Tamil Nadu wants water from Karnataka to take up cultivation for its second season this year, Karnataka has not done any cultivation due to lack of water.