Mangaluru

Major rivers recede in Karnataka, early summer looks likely

The water level in the Netravathi, at Didupe village on the foothills of the Western Ghats in Belthangady taluk, has drastically reduced within a month of the monsoon receding.

The water level in the Netravathi, at Didupe village on the foothills of the Western Ghats in Belthangady taluk, has drastically reduced within a month of the monsoon receding.  

Groundwater table too depletes as Dakshina Kannada receives little rain in September

Dakshina Kannada district appears to be heading for an early summer and a possible water famine despite having received 4,255.6 mm rainfall till day, much more than the annual normal of 3,912.2 mm.

The district’s lifeline, the Netravathi, which was flowing at 19 m (MSL) at Uppinangady on September 18 last year, has gone down to 15 m [on September 18, 2018], a fall of four meters. Similar is the situation of the other major rivers in the district, including the Phalguni (Gurupura), the Kumaradhara, the Payaswini, the Nandini and the Shambhavi, where water flow has considerably reduced.

The Netravathi, which was flowing to its brim in August at Didupe village on the foothills of the Western Ghats in Belthangady taluk, has drastically receded to the summer levels. “I had not seen such a situation earlier,” remarked Shreehari Marathe, an agriculturist from the village, with deep concern.

Major rivers recede in Karnataka, early summer looks likely
 

Consequently, the groundwater table too has gone down in the district. P. Janaki, Senior Geologist with the Groundwater Authority, said that though the department is yet to compile the report for the month, she has observed the groundwater table has gone down by 1 m to 2 m in several parts of the district as observed by her during the inspections.

Multiple reasons

The present situation is the fallout of multiple reasons, including depleted forest cover, particularly on the Western Ghats, and a very high temporal variation in the rainfall, said S.G. Maiya, hydrologist and retired professor from NITK, Surathkal.

Prof. Maiya told The Hindu that though the total quantum of rainfall this monsoon was very high, there was a skew in the initial period and later, there was drastic reduction. The region did not receive rainfall in the last week of August and this month, he noted.

Western Ghats

Western Ghats play a crucial role in causing rainfall as well as facilitating gradual percolation of rainwater into the ground. Drastic reduction of forest cover on the Western Ghats by way of different projects, including the Yettinahole water diversion, roads and others, has considerably affected the rainfall pattern as well as percolation.

Instead of gradually percolating into the ground and getting released subsequently, the rainwater gushed down immediately to join the Arabian Sea.

Consequently, the groundwater level too receded resulting in lesser discharge to the riverine system, Prof. Maiya said.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 10:29:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/it-looks-like-it-is-going-to-be-an-early-summer-as-major-rivers-recede/article24981158.ece

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