Mangaluru: As the summer season progresses, the fears of water scarcity in Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka are growing. With very little rain in early summer, the situation is expected to worsen by the end of April and early May, leading to water shortages in many areas.
Last year, early rains prevented a water crisis. However, this year, only it rained only for a couple of days. Stored water in places where the irrigation bunds and other small structures built across small streams have fairly subsided the water problem. But the water stored in the dams is evaporating quickly due to the increasing temperature of the sun.
Many villages are affected by the dwindling water supply. The Phalguni River dam at Sangabettu in Bantwala taluk has run dry, causing disruption in the drinking water supply to 15 nearby villages. Tanker water is being supplied to some areas within Puttur city limits, while borewells are being repaired and made ready.
The situation is less severe in areas, where water is supplied from wells and tube wells. However, the flow of water in the Netravati River has decreased at Uppinangady, causing the water in wells and lakes of the river to dry up, leaving farmers dependent on river water, at the mercy of rains.
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A similar situation is being reported from Belthangady, where the seepage from irrigation embankments has recharged the groundwater sources. In some areas, water is being supplied via tankers due to acute shortages.
In Sullia, water is being supplied to the city from the mud embankment across the Payasvini River at Nagapattana. However, as the water purification unit is quite old and inefficient, residents reported that the tap water being supplied is muddy.
At present, Mangaluru city is not facing any water problems as the outflow from AMR Dam has recharged the water level at Thumbe by about 6m. For now, there is enough water for 50 days.
Just a few kilometers away from Mangaluru, the situation is quite different in the urban and rural areas of Ullal Taluk. Ullal Municipal Council and Talapady-Someshwar Municipality and 19 villages are facing acute water scarcity. Water is being supplied through tankers in many places, and the water level in wells has also reduced significantly.
In Moodabidri, the municipality has already issued a notification announcing that water will be supplied once in two days. At present there are no water problems reported from Kadaba, however, the situation might change if there are no rains.
Even though Mulki is surrounded by rivers, saltwater has been a problem. Currently, drinking water is being supplied through tankers.
When contacted, Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Ravikumar M R said that the district officials have held a meeting regarding the water scarcity problem, and appropriate directions have been given. Despite their election duty, officials are taking steps not to exacerbate the water problem. It is also suggested to keep an alternative source ready in case of any issues.