Searing heat and depleting dam levels in Mysuru region

The water level at KRS was hovering at 100 feet as of Saturday.  

The searing heat of the summer is being felt across the Mysuru-Mandya-Chamarajanagar belt with maximum temperature hovering between 35 degree C and 37 degree C.

This has brought the focus on drinking water situation in the region as water levels in the reservoirs are prone to depletion due to high evaporation loss and release to the canals.

The maximum temperature for Mysuru as per the India Meteorological Department during the 24-hour period ending at 8.30 a.m. on Saturday was 36.7 degree C which was 2.4 degree C above normal for the month.

The all-time high record for Mysuru during April was 39.9 degree C which was recorded on April 25, 2016, according to IMD.

Similarly, Mandya recorded 36.6 degree C which was 1.6 degree C above normal while Chamarajanagar recorded a maximum temperature of 35.8 degree C.

While the day time temperature continues to hover around 36 degree C, the water levels in the major reservoirs are depleting due to evaporation loss and decline in the rate of inflow.

But, the district administration in Mysuru has allayed fears of drinking water scarcity. Though the water levels in the major dams, including KRS which is the main source of drinking water to the region, is dipping, it was sufficient to last through summer, according to officials.

According to Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC), the water level at KRS was hovering at 100 feet as of Saturday and there was 22.82 tmcft of water available for use. The water level in the dam during the same period last year was 103.80 feet and the storage was 25.95 tmcft.

Similarly, the storage in Kabini on Saturday was 8.44 tmcft, while there was 11.93 tmcft in Hemavathi and 2.93 tmcft at Harangi. The cumulative storage in the four major reservoirs in the Cauvery basin as on Saturday was 46.01 tmcft and it is 40.15% of 114.57 tmcft which is the total storage capacity of the four dams, according to the KSNDMC.

The KRS and the Kabini are the main source for supplying drinking water not only to Mysuru and surrounding towns and cities in the region but also to Bengaluru, which requires about 1.5 tmcft of water per month, according to officials. While the storage may be sufficient to last through summer, any release to save standing crops or for agricultural activity coupled with the delay in the onset of south west monsoon could lead to a crisis. But, for now the situation seems to be comfortable, believe officials.

But in the rural hinterland, the authorities are staring at a scarcity in 103 villages spread across all taluks except K.R. Nagar. The issue was also raised in a recent review meeting of the Mysuru Zilla Panchayat and measures have been initiated for ensuring water supply through tankers and drilling borewells if the ground water table was found to be at a higher level.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 7:16:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/searing-heat-and-depleting-dam-levels-in-mysuru-region/article34297749.ece

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