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Is Mysore city heading for a water crisis?

R. Krishna Kumar

Water level at Krishnaraja Sagar Reservoir is hovering at 67 ft


  • Monsoon is playing truant to make matters worse
  • Slump in agriculture activity in the region



    NOT A DROP: The crest gates at the Krishnaraja Sagar Reservoir from where water normally gushes out with tremendous force have fallen silent as the water level has depleted. — Photo: M.A. Sriram

    MYSORE: The city is heading for a major water crisis as the level in the Krishnaraja Sagar Reservoir has hit the dead storage level and is hovering at 67.52 ft as against the full reservoir level of 124.80 ft.

    This is 30 ft less than what was recorded during the corresponding period last year when the water level was 97.47 ft. Likewise, the live storage that is the quantum of water than can be utilised is nil whereas there was nearly 12 tmcft of water in the reservoir in June 2006.

    The live storage at Kabini in H.D. Kote taluk is also nil and the inflow is a measly 84 cusecs owing to scanty rain in the catchment area in Wyanad, Kerala. The reservoir level was 2,255 ft on Monday as against the FRL of 2,284 ft whereas the water level during the corresponding period last year was 2,274.74 ft and the live storage was 4.32 tmcft.

    The inflow into the Harangi reservoir was only 37 cusecs and the water level was 2,828 ft as against the FRL of 2,859 ft and the live storage was 0.53 tmcft. The water level on June 11, 2006 was 2832.71 ft and the live storage was 2.67 tmcft. What is disconcerting is that the monsoon is playing truant though it is the second week of June. It has weakened across the region including the catchment area of the Cauvery in Kodagu district. Though the second stage of the Melapura Water Works was inaugurated with great fanfare on May 7, 2007, the project is yet to yield any benefit to the public as engineering work is yet to be completed.

    This would have ensured an additional 50 million litres of water daily to residents in north Mysore.

    There are reports of depleting groundwater levels and poor rainfall and the authorities will have a tough time in the days ahead if the monsoon does not gain momentum in the next few days. The situation has been aggravated by high daytime temperatures.

    Meanwhile, agricultural activity has slumped and the crops are withering from moisture stress. Vasanth Kumar, agricultural scientist and in-charge of the Naganahalli Agricultural Research Station, told The Hindu that the Mysore region had experienced deficit rainfall this year and the crops were withering. Mr. Vasanth Kumar said since crops sown during the pre-monsoon season have endured moisture stress , the yield of cereals and pulses including jowar, red grams, cotton and ragi would be affected.

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