Southern India: Monsoon Rains Are Late

A water crisis is looming over India’s southern Karnataka state. The monsoon rains are late, and 81 crucial reservoirs in the state are drying up.

Water levels in all Karnataka state reservoirs are at just 44 percent compared to this time last year.

Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir has almost no water. The Tungabhadra dam isn’t doing much better.

Even rivers are running dry. Water levels in the Ganges, Indus, Narmada, Sabarmati, Godavari and rivers of the Kutch are all at 10 percent or less of their full capacity. This only spells further disaster for farmers.

They say that due to a shortage of water their crops are dying, threatening their livelihood.

[Kempamma, Farmer]:
„There is no water in any of the dams, ponds and canals. There is no water for our animals, also. I don’t know why the rain god is not pleased with us.“

Some have even tilled their land for the next crop hoping for a sudden downpour of monsoon showers.

[Rajanna, Farmer]:
„Generally, it used to rain during the month of June, but now it’s already July and still there is no rain. Be it Kanva, Tungabhadra or Krishna Raja Sagar, there is no water in any of the dams. We have even prepared the land for the next crop but due to shortage of rain water we are worried about our future.”

The interior minister of Karnataka says that the delay of monsoon rains is only a case of a dry spell.

[V.S. Acharya, Interior Minister of Karnataka]:
„For sowing activity, there is no problem. Rains are coming to that extent. For further development and requirements, rains will come. Normally when rains have been there in May, June will be slightly dry, so that is the case. It is a dry spell.”

Earlier, the meteorological department predicted heavy rainfall in the state.