Concern in Cauvery basin over lull in monsoon in Kodagu

A file photo of the Harangi reservoir in Kushalnagar.

A file photo of the Harangi reservoir in Kushalnagar.  

Rainall deficiency is uniform and widespread across the district

There is growing concern over the lull in southwest monsoon in Kodagu district, the main catchment area of the Cauvery, as it can aggravate the water crisis that is unfolding in the downstream regions of the river.

The period from June to mid-August is crucial as major reservoirs tend to receive copious inflow during this time. But the monsoon has remained slack in June, and according to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC), Kodagu district has received 256 mm of rainfall between June 1 and 29, which is 56% below normal.

Negligible inflow

Not surprisingly, the inflow into the reservoirs is negligible and this is evident at Harangi reservoir in Kushalnagar where the inflow, as recorded at 8.30 a.m. on Saturday, was at 206 cusecs. The inflow rate was 5,485 cusecs on the same day last year. It remains to be seen whether monsoon intensifies in the weeks ahead to make good the shortfall for June. Authorities in the district, which experienced extreme weather conditions and was scoured by landslips and floods last year, have braced themselves for any eventuality but the monsoon so far has remained weak.

According to the KSNDMC, the cumulative water available in the four major reservoirs in the Cauvery basin as on Saturday was 13.84 tmcft as against 64.89 tmcft on the same day last year.

On Saturday, the water level was at 79.88 ft in the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) against the full-reservoir level (FRL) of 124.8 ft, it was 2,257.48 ft in Kabini reservoir (FRL 2,285 ft), 2,807.67 ft at Harangi (FRL 2,859 ft), and 2,864.94 ft at Hemavati reservoir (FRL 2,922 ft).

The cumulative rainfall in Kodagu from January till June 29 this year is 372.44 mm as against 1,332.92 mm recorded during the same period last year.

The deficiency is uniform and widespread across Kodagu and even the taluk-wise rainfall statistics indicate that the monsoon has been slack so far. Madikeri taluk has recorded 469.67 mm of rainfall since January till date as against 1,817.59 mm during the corresponding period last year. Virajpet has received 447.73 mm of rainfall from January till date as against 1,235.30 mm during the same period last year. Similarly, Somwarpet has recorded a cumulative rainfall of 199.61 mm as against 945.86 mm during the same period last year.

Some of the places that used to get submerged owing to heavy rain during the initial days of monsoon — Bhagamandala, Napoklu, Srimangala, Hudikeri, etc. — continue to remain relatively dry with the places receiving light to moderate rains.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 7:28:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/concern-in-cauvery-basin-over-lull-in-monsoon-in-kodagu/article28230268.ece

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