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Water crisis looms large in Namakkal

M.K. Ananth
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Farmers of Namakkal district are yet to recover from the heavy losses that they incurred due to the severe drought in the year 2012. Poor summer showers (April and May) received by the district in 2013 that stands at a mere 51 mm is worse than the summer showers in 2012 – the year Namakkal received the lowest rainfall in three decades.

“This is only 64 per cent of the average summer showers recorded in the district in 2012, when 80 mm rainfall was recorded.

Data on average rainfall received by the 15 Blocks in the district shows that 12 mm rainfall was received in April and 39 mm was recorded in May”, Scientific Head and Coordinator of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Dr. B. Mohan told The Hindu .

Data on rainfall recorded in the district in the first three months of this year shows that there were no showers in the months of January and March while only 13 mm rainfall was received in February. With only 64 mm rainfall received over the last five months the fear of a severe water shortage has worsened for the local bodies and for farmers who are clueless on what to do.

“Due to poor summer showers cultivation of rain-fed pulses such as green gram and black gram could not be taken up during the summer this year.

Coupled with the unavailability of water in the open wells and borewells, the situation worsened for farmers for the second year in succession. Dr. Mohan observed that the increased wind speed in April and May this year aggravated the drought and the sufferings of the farmers as well. “The average wind speed of five to six km an hour has almost doubled to the range of nine to 11 km an hour over the last few days. This has removed the residual soil moisture and increased water requirement for the existing vegetable and cash crops”, he added.

River Cauvery and most open wells and borewells have already gone dry, leaving farmers and people of this dry district to hope for a good southwest monsoon to revive agricultural activities, save the existing long term crops and get drinking water supply at shorter intervals.

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