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August 8, 2016

Scanty rain in Cauvery catchment area in Kodagu heightens concerns:: MYSURU, August 8, 2016

The slackening rains and the mounting deficiency in the Cauvery catchment area in Kodagu have heightened concerns over imminent water stress in the months ahead unless the monsoon gained fresh vigour.

Kodagu received 530.3 mm of rainfall for July as against the normal of 904.7 mm — a deviation of minus 41 per cent for a month — which was supposed to be the among the wettest during the monsoon season. During June it recorded 544.6 mm of rainfall as against the normal of 622.4 mm, the deviation from normal being minus 13 per cent.

According to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC), the cumulative shortfall for June to August 7 is minus 30 per cent.

In the last week of July there were indications of a surge in rainfall and the monsoon gathering vigour but it dissipated and the period between July 23 and 29 recorded 59.20 mm of rainfall as against the normal of 183.8 mm, the departure being minus 68 per cent.

Likewise, for the period June 1 to July 9, the district received 1053.90 mm of rainfall as against the normal rainfall of 1,481.90 mm, the shortfall being 29 per cent and hence the district was classified under deficit category by the KSNDMC.

Statistics indicate that the pattern of scanty rain is uniform across the district and there is no excess rainfall in any of the three taluks in Kodagu.

Out of the 16 hoblis, 10 hoblis came under deficit category during the period June 1 to July 29, which underlines the severity of the unfolding crisis that can only be offset with heavy rains during August. Consequent to scanty rains, the major reservoirs in the Cauvery basin in South Karnataka are yet to reach a comfortable position. The reservoir level at Krishnaraja Sagar was 97.15 feet on Saturday (August 6) as against the FRL of 124.80 ft. The reservoir level during the corresponding period last year was 105 ft. As against the gross storage of 49.45 tmcft, the storage on August 6 was 20.66 tmcft while it was 26.99 tmcft during the corresponding period last year. The reservoir does not even hold 50 per cent of its gross storage capacity and the cumulative outflow from the reservoir from June 1 to August 6 is 22.29 tmcft.