The dam recorded 3 mm rainfall till 8.30 a.m. on Thursday

On Thursday, cautious optimism ran through the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board and the Coimbatore Corporation as a thick cloud cover formed over the Siruvani Dam and the catchment.

The dam recorded 3 mm rain till 8.30 a.m. on Thursday and 5 mm on Wednesday.

This was attributed to the cyclone in the Bay of Bengal. But, the authorities said it was not time yet to conclude that the hot and dry spell was over.

The cyclone impact would be over any moment and the Siruvani scheme would have to count only on the South West Monsoon.

Water supply officials said what lent hope now was the news of the monsoon moving towards Kerala. Heavy rain in some parts of Palakkad District in Kerala (where the dam and catchment are located) indicated that things would improve in terms of water supply. The hope now was that the monsoon would set in over the catchment in the last week of May or in the first week of June.

Both the water board and the civic body were into hectic arrangements for smooth water supply during the World Classical Tamil Conference to be held here from June 23 to 27.

In this context, the setting in of the monsoon even in the first week of June would be a timely rescue act.

“The good news now is that Siruvani Dam has more water as on May 20, than in the last 10 years,” Executive Engineer of the water board P. Gopalakrishnan said.

The level on Thursday stood at nearly 19 ft, as against the full reservoir level of nearly 60 ft. It was only 11.28 ft last year.

Between 2000 and 2004, the level hit dead storage twice. Good summer showers, a low pressure in the Bay of Bengal and early setting in of the South West Monsoon turned things around in April-May 2004.

A string of austerity measures ensured judicious use of drinking water and prevented the level from plummeting to dead storage.

Readings available with the Corporation pointed out that in 2006 and 2008, the water level was beyond the 18 ft mark, though not to the level this year.

The water level in the dam now was enough for a comfortable supply, official sources said.

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