Kochi: From floods to a dry spell, there’s no in between for Kerala, which is bearing the brunt of the thoughtless degradation of forest cover and wetlands in the Western Ghats region. With rising temperatures and the rapid depletion of groundwater levels hitting the state just weeks after it experienced the worst floods in nearly a decade, the Kerala government is likely to commission a survey.
“The fall in water levels in the rivers and wells is an indication of the escalation of the runoff due to the decline of natural conservation areas in the region,” said Dr P.V. Dinesan, the Senior Principal Scientist and Head of the Geomatics Division of the Centre for Water Resources and Management.
“It’s possible that the high velocity of water outflow from rivers during the floods might have led to the present situation,” he said. On an average, the runoff can happen in a span of between 48 and 72 hours, he said, acknowledging that the dry spell has led to falling water levels in rivers and wells, and that this has been reported from across the state and in a preliminary survey of Kozhikode district.
It is not an indication of impending drought, Dr Dinesan cautioned. “We need to undertake a detailed study of the groundwater resources are under severe stress too, due to the decline of forest cover Senior officials at the Indian Metereological Department in Thiruvananthapuram confirmed that the state received very little rain since the beginning of September with weekly rainfall from across the state, between Aug 30 -Sep 5 a mere 7.9 mm, when the area usually receives about 56 mm during the same period. Despite the 33% excess rainfall in August, the deficiency in the first week fo September is upto 86%. The unusual dry spell isn't likely to improve until Sep 17, the official said.