Water shortage has hit almost all parts of Karnataka and 160 out of the state’s 176 taluks have been officially declared drought-hit, a report by the Deccan Herald states.
The Karnataka government had declared 139 taluks as drought-hit during the 2016 kharif season and 21 additional taluks have been included in the category in the rabi season. The state government had sought Rs 4,702 crore funds from the Centre for relief last year, the report adds.
As 25 out of 30 districts are facing extreme deficit in rainfall, the current year may also be hit by water crisis as rainfall is expected only in June, the report says.
Bidar is the only region in the state that received excess rainfall and only four other districts – Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Kolar and Kalaburgi, received normal rainfall, according to a report by the Karnataka State Natural Disater Monitoring Centre.
A meteorological, hydrological and agricultural drought has been prevalent in the state as Karnataka failed to receive the pre-monsoon, south west monsoon and north east monsoon, the DH report adds.
The average normal rainfall for the state is about 1,155 mm. However, Karnataka received only 831 mm rainfall last year. With a 28% deficit, the rainfall in 2016 has been the lowest in the last 45 years, the DH report states.
Agricultural drought is not the only problem that has hit the Cauvery basin. The area will also face difficulty in meeting even the drinking water requirements. The four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin – KRS, Harangi, Kabini and Hemavathi – can contain 104.55 tmcft of water but they currently hold only 15.4 tmcft water, DH reported.
The 40 towns surrounding the Cauvery basin including Bengaluru, Mysuru and 600 other villages need approximately 3 tmcft of water per month to meet the drinking water requirement. Of the 15.4 tmcft water, only 11 tmcft is available due to seepage and other losses, the report adds.