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Prepare for tough summer: Minister

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N.K. Premachandran has called for scientific water management.
N.K. Premachandran has called for scientific water management.

Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran has urged local bodies and the public to conserve drinking water ahead of the difficult summer season.

In an article released here for publication, the Minister said drinking water conservation by all sections would reduce the burden on the Kerala Water Authority (KWA), which met the needs of 84.2 per cent of the urban and 65.4 per cent of the rural population.

Focus on conservation

Stating that conservation should begin at home, the Minister said the consumers should attend to even small matters relating to repairs of various amenities in their households.

He said the Government and the KWA had initiated steps to conserve water by proper water management.

Listing out the leakage in water supply, he said the KWA had incurred an expenditure of Rs.7.39 for one kilolitre of treated water supplied through the system.

The authority’s daily output was 1,866 million litres. However, it was able to recover revenue for only 1,493 million litres.

It suffered a loss of 473 million litres of water, of approximately Rs.32 lakh a day. It also heavily subsidised water supply to domestic consumers at Rs. 2 a kilolitre.

Public cooperation

The KWA could continue to function as a public utility only if the public cooperated in water conservation, he said. The Minister promised to ensure scientific water management practices.

He said the Government proposed to identify the scarcity-prone areas and take necessary remedial measures.

He urged the local bodies to take the initiative in this regard. The local bodies should ensure that drinking water sources were not polluted and discipline and order was maintained in the consumption of drinking water during the summer season. Other water sources need to be utilised for non-domestic purposes, he said.

The Minister said the water needs of the State had been increasing every year. Though Kerala received copious rains, only 75 per cent of the 54,410 million cubic feet was available as inflow. The rest was utilised by dams or became ground water resources.

The State was able to utilise only 15 per cent of the inflow during the December-May period when water consumption was the highest.

During the summer season, Kerala got only 14,325 million cubic feet as surface inflow. According to 2001 figures, the total demand for water was around 21,467 million cubic metres, he said.

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