Thrissur district gears up to face challenges of possible drought 

49% decline in rainfall in district; water level in dams drops sharply; directive to make necessary changes in farming pattern 

Published - August 20, 2023 09:08 pm IST - Thrissur

Following shortage in rainfall, there has been a sharp decline in water level in all dams in the district. Farmers have been directed to make necessary changes in the farming pattern taking into account possible drought conditions.

A meeting of the District Disaster Management Authority on Sunday reviewed the water level in the dams in the district. If the district does not get good rainfall during the northeast monsoon season (Thulavarsham), it is going to face severe drought conditions, the meeting observed.

The district used to get 1,695 mm rain from June to August, but got only 868 mm this year, according to the weather records. There is a 49% decline in rainfall. While the district received 307 mm of rain in the first 18 days of August last year, it got only 23 mm of rain during the same period this year, a 92% decline.

The sharp decline in rainfall has severely affected the water level in dams and rivers in the district. Peechi dam, the main source of the district for irrigation and drinking water purposes, currently has only 23% of water. This was 67% during this time last year. The water level in Chimminy dam is 30.7% while it is 34% in Vazhani. There was 73% water in Vazhani during this period last year.

Directive to officials

The meeting observed that if the district failed to receive good rain in the coming days, the dams will not have enough water to supply for water for irrigation and drinking water needs. Considering the situation, agriculture development officials have been asked to prepare a clear farming pattern by reducing usage of water and selecting seeds which will get ready in a short period with minimum water use. They have been asked to prepare regional-level farm calendars taking into consideration the conditions of farmlands and availability of water resources for reducing crop loss.

The agriculture officials have been asked to create awareness among farmers of the possible drought. The farmers need to face the challenge by starting framing early, using drought-resistant seeds with shorter growth period. They should be encouraged to insure the crop. This is considering the need for releasing more water from dams for drinking-water needs in case of a drought, the meeting observed.

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