Bengaluru: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday expressed concerns over declining rainfall in the state every monsoon and said it indicates the alarming impact of global climate change.
India’s overall monsoon rainfall, which begins in Kerala, has seen a 4% deficit until 16 August, Mint reported on 17 August. The deficit is more pronounced—at least 20%—in a quarter of the country’s area ranging from Kerala to Maharashtra, the report said.
Speaking about water shortage in the state assembly, Vijayan said the recurring monsoon deficit indicates the impact of climate change has arrived in Kerala and to tackle it, the state would need to plan long term.
“Climate change impacts are beginning to show in Kerala... the civil society needs to be prepared," he said.
Quoting data from public observatories, he added that June to September south-west monsoon is short in Kerala by 29.1% until 16 August, and consequently, the state’s major water reservoirs that are crucial for power generation are 20-30% below their normal storage for this time of the year. If rains fail until September, the state will be in big crisis, said Vijayan.
This year is particularly bad, he said, because it comes on the back of the severe shortage witnessed in 2016 which forced the state to declare its all 14 districts drought-hit. In fact, in the last 10 years, rainfall was below normal in Kerala in as many as seven years, said Vijayan.
Vijayan said the government is working on a war footing to mitigate the impact as much as possible.
An assessment has been ordered into the impact over agriculture and related work, and three task forces have been formed for looking at alternative measures to preserve water such as rainwater harvesting and rejuvenation of existing public wells and other water bodies, said Vijayan.