Hard rain down the drain
All places in Kerala, except a few in Palakkad, got more rainfall this summer than the national average. “Considering that India receives only 1,100 mm of rainfall as long period average, isn’t it absurd to say that Kerala suffered acute water scarcity even after getting 2,270 mm of rain in 2003,” says Achyuthan. Unlike other states in India, Kerala is blessed with regular rainfall: 60-65 per cent from the four-month-long south west monsoon, which begins in June, and 25-30 per cent from the north east monsoon during October-November. Rest of the rain comes during summer. But since 1982 the amount of rainfall received has fluctuated wildly; since 1999 there hasn’t been a single year when the annual rainfall touched the average value of 3,107 mm. On an average, annual rainfall has dropped by 15-20 per cent.
The south west monsoon has been particularly poor