With the North-East Monsoon season drawing to a close in another couple of weeks the city’s water managers in the Corporation have turned their attention towards the water position in the Siruvani reservoir.
As of December 12, the water level is at 41.76 feet in the reservoir where the full reservoir is 49.54 feet. A good 7.78 feet lower than what it should be.
The level is even below the 44.5 feet mark – the level that the Kerala Irrigation Department officials had told their counterparts here in the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board that they would maintain for the city’s water needs.
The Kerala Government had reduced a couple of years ago the water level in Siruvani and other reservoirs by 1.5m or five feet citing safety after floods.
The loss of five feet water equalled 15% reduction in storage or 25 days’ supply. Now, the loss has increased by five to 10% and that means a reduction in storage of another 10 days’ supply, to say the least, the Corporation sources say.
Or, in other words, Siruvani Reservoir will have water not until June but only till May because of the reduced storage level and this will have a cascading effect on Pilloor and other water sources as the Corporation diverts water from such sources to meet the shortfall in Siruvani-fed wards, the sources say and add that Siruvani caters to at least 20 wards in full and another 10 wards in part.
Had the Kerala Government allowed the water level to touch the full reservoir level, as it did prior to 2018, Siruvani water would last till July. This would help the Board and the Corporation tide over crisis even in a poor South-West Monsoon year.
But, this is no longer possible as under the current situation the Siruvani water will meet the city’s requirements only for a shorter duration.
And, the Corporation and the Board that gradually reduce the quantity of water drawn from Siruvani from 80 million litres a day from March or April will have to start an early reduction in supply to keep the Siruvani supply going, the sources add.