Monsoon

The mirage of normal monsoon

According to IMD, India is having normal monsoon this year, so far, as per rainfall till date (Sept 1, 2018). Against normal rainfall of 721.1 mm, India has received 676.6 mm rainfall, which is 6.2% below normal, considered within normal rainfall definition as per IMD. So India is having normal monsoon rainfall, says IMD. Let us check this against some ground realities.

However, East and North East India, one of the four regions for which IMD provides rainfall data, has so far had 27% below normal rainfall, while South India had 9% surplus rainfall.  Thus, while at all India level, what seems all normal, is average of different, though serious departures from normal rainfall. Let us say this is first level of mirage of normal rainfall. Continue reading “The mirage of normal monsoon”

Andhra Pradesh

Discrepancies in rainfall figures for Andhra Pradesh’s drought hit districts

On October 28, 2015, the government of Andhra Pradesh declared drought[1] in 196 mandals in seven of the thirteen districts of the state. Having seen the serious discrepancies (between IMD and state government) in the rainfall figures of districts in Maharashtra[2] and Madhya Pradesh[3] where the respective state governments declared drought earlier, we decided to check the same for these seven districts of AP too. The IMD figures[4] for the monsoon (June 1 to Sept 30) rainfall for these seven districts are given in terms of Normal Rainfall, Actual Rainfall and how much actual rainfall departure was there from Normal Rainfall. During 2015 monsoon, IMD figures  say that Coastal Andhra Pradesh (nine districts, three of which are declared drought affected now) received 642 mm rainfall, compared to normal rainfall of 581.1 mm, so a surplus of 10%. Rayalseema (comprising of four districts, all drought hit now) received 358.3 mm rainfall, 10% below the normal figure of 398.3 mm. In the previous year, both regions had 23% deficient rainfall, with actual rainfall of 448.7 mm in Coastal AP and 308.6 mm in Rayalseema. Continue reading “Discrepancies in rainfall figures for Andhra Pradesh’s drought hit districts”

Dams

Godavari Krishna River Linking: Are we celebrating an illegal, unnecessary & misconceived water transfer project?

The national media seems to be celebrating linking of Godavari and Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh on September 16, 2015 as the first major step towards Inter Linking of Rivers in India. An emotional Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Shri N Chandrababu Naidu called it historic and Pavitra Sangam (Holy Confluence)[1].

What is the reality? Continue reading “Godavari Krishna River Linking: Are we celebrating an illegal, unnecessary & misconceived water transfer project?”

Dams

Open Letter to Chief Minister of Maharashtra: Stop Westwards diversion of water from Krishna basin

OPEN LETTER TO HON. CHIEF MINISTER OF MAHARASHTRA:

Water Diversion from Krishna basin by Koyna and Tata Dams:

Maharashtra is violating Human Rights, National & State Water Policy

August 18, 2015

Dear Shri Devendra Fadnavis,

As we all know, large parts of Maharashtra, including Marathawada and Western Maharashtra (part of IMD division called Madhya Maharashtra) are in the grip of biggest monsoon deficit in the country with deficits of 48% and 33% respectively at the end of August 17, 2015 as per IMD[1]. Even beyond the state border, North Interior Karnataka has monsoon deficit of 45%, Rayalseema 36% and Telangana 23%.

Farmers in all these regions are in distress, rainfed Kharif crop, the only crop for most of them, may have been jeopardised for almost all of them. Most of the reservoirs have paltry storages, the biggest in the Krishna basin, Ujani in Maharashtra and Nagarjunsagar in Telangana (also catering to parts of Andhra Pradesh) have zero % in live storage, Srisailam has paltry 9%[2]. Millions of farmers and people are facing the prospects of livelihood loss and severe water scarcity.

While the situation is this serious in Krishna River Basin and adjoining basins, in Maharashtra, huge amounts of water is being diverted from the Krishna basin to the water surplus Konkan region which has seen close to 1600 mm rainfall already. This westward diversion of water from the east flowing Krishna-Bhima basin ultimately takes the water to Arabian Sea, while the Krishna basin, which should have the first right over this water, remains plunged in massive water scarcity. Krishna basin is thus being deprived of its water. Continue reading “Open Letter to Chief Minister of Maharashtra: Stop Westwards diversion of water from Krishna basin”

Dams

Six regions of India facing prospects of crop failure and drought?

IMD rainfall map for July 13, 2015
IMD rainfall map for July 13, 2015

At least six of the 34 Meteorological divisions of India seems to be facing the prospects of crop failure and drought, if we look at the rainfall in these divisions in last 18 prime monsoon days from June 25, 2015 (monsoon had set in almost all over India by that date) to July 13, 2015, the latest date for which division wise rainfall are available. In these six sub-divisions, the rainfall during these 18 prime monsoon days has been between 0.1 mm to 12.8 mm. Continue reading “Six regions of India facing prospects of crop failure and drought?”