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Good days ahead for farmers, thanks to 53 per cent excess summer showers

Karnataka has 12 major reservoirs, including Krishna Raja Sagar, Kabini, Hemavati, Supa, Narayanapura, Ghataprabha, Mallaprabha, Bhadra, Tungabhadra and others.

Published: 31st May 2018 05:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st May 2018 05:15 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: By May-end, water levels in most of the reservoirs in Karnataka normally touch rock bottom. But this year, water levels in these reservoirs are better compared to previous years, all thanks to the 53 percent excess pre-monsoon showers. And with monsoon arriving with expectations of normal rainfall, farmers have several reasons to cheer about.

Karnataka has 12 major reservoirs, including Krishna Raja Sagar, Kabini, Hemavati, Supa, Narayanapura, Ghataprabha, Mallaprabha, Bhadra, Tungabhadra and others. Total capacity of these reservoirs is 805 TMC. While water in these reservoirs had touched rock bottom in May last year, this time, many reservoirs have water levels in double figures (see box).

"Summer showers have been extremely good in 2018. Out of 30 districts, 24 districts received excess rainfall. State average is 53 per cent excess than normal. This is why reservoirs are not empty by the end of May,'' said Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) Director G Srinivas Reddy.

Monsoon is also expected to be normal this year. "Reservoirs should fill at least three times, not once. This means good amount of water inflow should also be recorded. Only then, it can be termed as a good monsoon,'' Reddy added.

Prof M B Rajegowda, an agrometeorologist at University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), said, "Good rains means good days for farmers. The summer showers in Karnataka normally witness around 175 mm rainfall between March and May. But the state received close to 250 mm. This will compensate in case monsoons are lesser than normal."

According to the IMD, this year monsoon will be lesser than normal by four per cent. In rainfall measurement terms, up to 12 per cent is considered as normal.

Rajegowda said after bumper pulse production, summer showers will definitely bring farmers more cheers.

Former irrigation secretary and water expert Captain Raja Rao said this year's pre-monsoon period was peculiar. Increased water level in reservoirs is a good sign. When asked about release of water from the KRS dam, Captain Rao said as per the Supreme Court direction, Cauvery Management Board will be the final authority.

"In Karnataka, farmers can grow irrigation-related crops till January (after end of khariff), after which water in reservoir can be used only for drinking purpose. It holds good for farmers in Tamil Nadu. It all depends on what authorities decide,'' he said. According to him, farmers in Cauvery basin use water for sugarcane. There are 14 to 15 sugarcane factories in this region which largely depend on sugarcane supply.

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Reservoir Water level in Water level in 2017 2018

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Linganamakki 14 22.11

Supa 41.19 48.75

Varahi 4.63 5.58

Hemavathi 1.28 3.18

KRS 2.06 3.66

Kabini 0 2.15

Bhadra 0.17 3.31

Tungabhadra 1 3.81

Alamatti 6.20 17.61

Narayanapura 4.39 8.84

Ghataprabha 1.65 4.35

Malaprabha 0.78 1.87

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