The Rural Water Supply Department Superintending Engineer, Prabhakar Rao on Thursday said that the only solution to the drinking water problem being faced by the district was surface water.

Responding to the story published in The Hindu on the drinking water crisis in the district, Mr. Rao admitted that the situation was indeed grave. “More than one-third of the tube-wells drilled this year had failed. This indicated a crisis in the water situation.” Mr. Rao said the RWS Department in the district had spent over Rs. 100 crore on drilling new tubewells and repairing old ones over the years.

“Over Rs. 20 crores has been spent this year alone on drilling new tubewells, deepening old ones and repairing the faulty ones,” he said stressing that this was the situation in spite of the huge expenditure.

Stating that no solution to the current drinking water crisis was possible by tapping the ground water, he said that the only way was to bring to the district surface water from one source or the other.

He said that the RWS Department would require 10 tmcft of water to cater only to the drinking water needs.

When asked about the water needs of the 55 lakhanimal population in the district, he said that they would require allocation over and above the 10 tmcft.