Monsoon normal in State but deficit in Cauvery catchment area

Probabilities of heavy rains are less but cannot be ruled out

The quantum of rainfall in the catchment area of the Cauvery and its tributaries in the State continues to be a matter of concern with rains in Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru districts classified as ‘deficit’ for the period June 1 till date (August 23).

While Kodagu has received 1326 mm of rainfall which is 29 per cent below Long Period Average (LPA), Chikkamagaluru which is the catchment for Hemavathi – the main tributary of the Cauvery – has recorded 953 mm of rainfall which is 22 per cent below LPA, according to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC).

The rainfall across the State was 587 mm against the LPA of 647 mm during this period.

Hassan district has received 490 mm of rainfall which is 16 per cent below LPA while Mysuru has received 245 mm, which is 16 per cent below LPA. Only Mandya with 217 mm (32 per cent above LPA) and Chamarajanagar district with 222 mm (29 per cent above LPA) have rains in the excess category as defined by the KSNDMC. Excess is defined as rainfall above 20 per cent to 59 per cent of the LPA, deficit is -20 per cent to – 59 of the LPA while normal is +19 per cent to -19 per cent of the LPA.

Though Mysuru, Hassan, Mandya and Chamarajanagar have received rains ranging from normal to excess, these are districts whose LPA itself is low and receives relatively less rains compared to the Malnad and Wester Ghats region. So the quantum of water accruing to the rivers from these districts is not high compared to the yield from Kodagu and Chikkamagalur regions.

With the number of rainy days during the South West Monsoon set to recede after August, the probabilities of heavy rains are less but cannot be ruled out.

Sources in the Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Ltd (CNNL) said the monsoon, though active, is weak in the Cauvery catchment region as a result of which the water level at the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) is yet to reach its full reservoir level of 124.80 feet. The reservoir level was hovering around 120.15 feet on Monday.

But the authorities said there have been years when the KRS has attained FRL as late as in September and the tradition of the Chief Minister offering ‘bagina’ or thanksgiving has taken place in mid- or late September.

However, in case of Hemavathi, the water level is approaching the FRL and it was 2,918.11 on Monday against the FRL of 2,922 feet. The water level at the Kabini was 2,282.48 feet against the FRL of 2,284 feet.

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