A few up-lying areas are already facing water shortage
With reduced inflow in the Swarna at the Baje and Shiroor dams, which supply drinking water to Udupi city, due to reduction in rainfall, the Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC) is taking steps to conserve water in these dams, while at the same time launching a search for alternative sources of water.
While the dam at Baje, about 19 km from Udupi, comes under the Swarna River First Stage, the dam at Shiroor, about 25 km from here, comes under the Swarna Second Stage.
“There is a decrease in inflow of water in the river compared to the last year due to reduced rainfall this year in August and September,” said Ganesh K., Assistant Executive Engineer of the municipal council.
Udupi taluk received 882 mm rainfall in August and September in 2015, while it had come down to 839 mm during the same period this year.
In the summer of 2016, the city had to face water scarcity and the CMC resorted to supplying water on alternate days from February 17, which was later revised to once in three days from May 27.
Already, a few up-lying areas in the city are now facing water shortage.
These areas include Nayampalli in Kallianpur, Santhosh Nagar, Hanuman Colony in Ajjarkad, Hanumanth Nagar in Nittoor and State Bank Lane in Bailoor.
The water pumping station at Baje Dam is pumping about 24 million litres per day (mld).
The daily water requirement is 30 mld. The deficiency in water supplied to the city is about 5-6 mld.
To conserve water in the reservoir upstream at Shiroor, the CMC will start the process of closing the sluice gates at the dam on Monday (November 28), which will be completed in about 10 days.
“We had closed the sluice gates at Shiroor in January this year. The sluice gates at Baje were closed about a month ago,” Mr. Ganesh said.
“We are thinking of providing water on alternate days from January 2017 itself to avoid any crisis. But we are yet to decide on it. We have also urged the district administration to allow removal of silt from the reservoir to increase its water retention capacity,” said Meenakshi Bannanje, CMC president.
Meanwhile, the CMC has started the process of identifying open wells and borewells so that water could be supplied from these sources, if the need arose.
“But if there is rainfall in the Western Ghats in January or February, the situation might ease a bit,” Mr. Ganesh said.