A weather scientist told TNM that the state needs 300 TMC total of water across June to September to declare it as a drought-free year.

Good rains so far in Karnataka but drought-like conditions still persistImage for representation
news Monsoon Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 20:46

Despite torrential rains and reservoir levels filling up in Karnataka, the state may still not be able to escape drought-like conditions.

Monsoon rains lashed the coastal districts on Tuesday, with 84.62mm rain recorded in Udupi and 74.68mm recorded in Dakshina Kannada.

This led to a spike in reservoir levels since the coastal areas fall under the catchment areas.

As per the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC), the Krishnaraja Sagar (K.R.S) reservoir recorded a water inflow level of 21,179 cusecs. Considering that a 4-year-high inflow of 28,096 cusecs was achieved only two weeks ago, the dams are full in the state.

There were also significant differences between reservoir levels this time last year. The Tungabhadra dam was almost 100 feet better off this year, with a water level of 1605.95 feet compared to 1570 feet last year. The Linganamakki dam also holds 49.10 TMC of water this year as compared to 39.71 TMC last year.

However, the Managing Director of KSNDMC, Srinivas Reddy was still cautiously optimistic about the entire situation. And he still cannot definitively state that Karnataka will escape its three-year drought.

He said that the state requires a total of 300 TMC of water across the months of June to September to say that it was a drought-free year.

Reddy asserts, “We have received good rainfall in Malnad and coastal regions. That is why all the reservoirs are full. But we still require some more rainfall. We have not seen too much rain in the past 10 days across Karnataka. Only these past few days it has crept up a bit. We still require more water in July.”

This is especially true since Karnataka has to release some water to Tamil Nadu in July as part of the Cauvery Water Tribunal’s decision. 

The Kabini reservoir, already at almost full capacity, has been releasing excess water to the neighbouring state.

Reddy however conceded that it has not been a bad year as far as rains are concerned. He asserted, “Relatively this year, compared to previous years, it has been very good in terms of rainfall.”

 

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