Crisis looms in Hassan district as water-level in Hemavati dam dips

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Hassan:  People of Hassan district are worried about facing severe drinking water shortage as the water-level in the Hemavati reservoir at Gorur in Hassan taluk has receded beyond the dead storage level.

Reports of water being released from this reservoir to the Krishnaraja Sagara (KRS) in the neighbouring Mandya district have added to their worry.

The Hassan City Municipal Council (CMC), which is supplying water to households on alternate days, might restrict the supply to a couple of days a week if the situation worsens.

On Thursday, water-level in the Hemavati reservoir was 2,860.41 ft against the full reservoir level (FRL) of 2,922 ft. The gross storage in the reservoir was 4.04 tmcft, which is lower than the dead storage (4.372 tmcft). The outflow from the reservoir was at 100 cusecs.

On the same day last year, the water-level was 2870.14 ft while the gross storage was 6.4 tmcft.

Officers of Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. are silent on the quantum of water released to the KRS.

As water-level in the reservoir has dipped, CMC authorities are finding it difficult to lift water to supply to the city.

“The city requires 2.5 million gallons of water per day (mgd). But the authorities have been able to pump only 1 mgd as the water-level has plummeted beyond the jack-wells fixed by the CMC,” said Hassan MLA H.S. Prakash, who took a team of journalists to the reservoir to take stock of the situation on Thursday.

He made it clear that he was not opposed to releasing water from the reservoir to the KRS to meet the drinking water needs of Bangalore. “But residents of Hassan should not suffer,” he said.

The CMC has made a stopgap arrangement to overcome the water shortage by diverting about 1 mgd of water, meant for supply in industrial area of Hassan, to the city.

The industrial area has a separate pipeline. As many plots in the industrial area have remained vacant, the quantity of water being supplied there is more than sufficient.

“From Thursday, 1 mgd of water from the industrial area pipeline is being diverted to the CMC’s treatment plant, from where water is supplied to Hassan city,” the MLA said. As many as 3.17 lakh residents of Hassan city, Holenarsipur, Alur, Arkalgud, Sakleshpur, Channarayapatna, Belur and Arsikere towns are dependent on the reservoirs in the Cauvery basin — Hemavati and Yagachi — for drinking water. The total drinking water requirement in these towns for a month is 0.054 tmcft. Except Hassan city, none of the other towns in the district has direct pipeline from the reservoirs. People in these towns have to depend on water in the river or canals. As the water-level in the reservoir has plummeted beyond dead storage, releasing water into the river or canals is a distant possibility. If there is no rain in the next few days, drinking water problem is likely to take a turn to worse.

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