Vaigai dam level down to 34 feet from 41 feet on January 1

With Madurai district having received scanty rainfall in 2013, in all likelihood the city and its suburbs will face drinking water scarcity this summer.

Farmers, who had been grappling with inadequate water for irrigation last year, will continue to suffer as the rainfall deficit has resulted in depleting storage at Vaigai dam.

While the Periyar credit recorded a storage of more than 5,500 mcft in early October last year, the storage level gradually went down to below 1,000 mcft in the last few weeks, and it stood at 961 mcft on Sunday.

The decreasing storage level in Vaigai dam will ultimately result in a severe water crisis in Madurai. While the year began with the water level standing at 41 feet, the dam presently has a storage level of 34 feet only.

With 2012 having been a grim year for farmers with less than adequate rainfall, the situation in 2013 was no different. In 2013, the district received rainfall only for 80 days. It recorded the maximum rainfall in October with 18 days of rain.

“Apart from a heavy spell of rain in October when many parts of the city and the surrounding villages received torrential showers, the rainfall recorded this year has been abysmally low,” a Public Works Department official said on Sunday. “There has not been many consistent and long spells of rain which has led to the storage level in the dam dwindling,” he added.

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