Madurai and nearby areas facing severe drinking water shortage

Rapid depletion of storage in the Vaigai dam has been forecasting severe water shortage to Madurai city and nearby areas as water level in the dam neared dead storage level on Sunday.

If the level reached dead storage, water cannot be pumped from the dam owing to accumulation of silt and slush on the dam bed.

Water level touched 21.3 mm, lowest level in the last one decade.

Present storage will suffice to pump water for a day or two.

Already, discharge from the dam to meet drinking water supply to Madurai was cut to 40 cusecs from 60 cusecs.

“If this trend continued, we would face a tough situation in discharging water from the dam to maintain drinking water supply to Madurai city, Sedapatti and nearby areas,” worried Public Works Department officials.

They say that summer rain alone will end precarious situation. Such pathetic condition prevailed in the dam in 2003.

Even as the Western Ghats received heavy downpour during the last 48 hours, Varusha Nadu hills, the main catchment for the Vaigai dam, did not receive any rain. However, other parts of the district received torrential showers in the last 24 hours. Water flooded several areas in the district, owing to heavy downpour.

Water level

Water level in Periyar dam stood at 109.9 feet (permissible level 136 feet), (level on Wednesday was 109.5 feet).

The flow into the dam was 274 cusecs and the discharge was 100 cusecs only. Storage level dwindled to 21.3 feet in the Vaigai dam. Discharge was only 40 cusecs. Rainfall recorded at various places in the district (in mm) at 8 a.m. on Sunday: Periyar 44, Thekkadi 64, Uthamapalayam 24, Veerapandi 18, Sothuparai dam 10, Manjalar dam 4, Vaigai dam 2, Shanmuga Nadhi dam 8 and Bodi 28 mm.


Torrential showers hit many parts of the district. Prime roads and low-lying areas in Dindigul town were flooded with rainwater, paralyzing routine life on Saturday evening.

Kodaikanal town too received heavy rain.

Sky was overcast and breeze was cool in Dindigul on Sunday.

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