There may not be much problem on water front

Despite northeast monsoon playing truant, there may not be much problem on water front for several parts of the State till the advent of southwest monsoon in June next year.

Indicating this, a senior government official says the comfortable storage of most of the reservoirs will, in general, take care of the requirements of the State. The districts that are likely to face problems are Sivaganga, Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram in the south, given the fact that the Vaigai reservoir’s storage is one-fourth of its capacity. Besides, reservoirs catering to drinking water requirements of Chennai are having one-third of their total capacity.

As on date, the State realised just 29 cm rainfall against the anticipated 42 cm during the season. Not a single district has registered surplus rainfall. Hardly 10 more days are left for the withdrawal of the northeast monsoon.

But, the saving grace for the Cauvery delta districts is that the Mettur dam has storage of around 40 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft). Mettur has realised around 240 tmc ft of the Cauvery water between June 1 and December 16.

As the water release has to be made only for a few more weeks before the samba crop harvest, the official says that the existing storage will be just enough to meet the demand. The reservoirs – Pechiparai and Perunchani (which take care of farming requirements of Kanyakumari), Parambikulam (for Coimbatore and neighbouring western districts) and Sathanur (for Tiruvannamalai) – have better storage than on the corresponding day a year ago.

After meeting the requirements of the delta farmers, the authorities are planning to keep a storage of 10 tmc ft – 15 tmc ft at Mettur so that water can be transferred to the Veeranam tank in Cuddalore district for providing drinking water to Chennai to the tune of 180 million litres a day (MLD).

The official says that as the monsoon is almost over, the State has to depend only on Krishna water for meeting the requirements of Chennai. Officials of the Andhra Pradesh government have assured their Tamil Nadu counterparts that the water supply would resume, in full measure, by December 27. At present, a negligible amount of water is flowing in to the city as repair works are under way on the 152-km-long Kandaleru-Poondi Canal in Ubbalamadagu near Varadapalayam on the Andhra Pradesh side of the canal.

For the three southern districts, there is no option other than relying on the available groundwater resource for drinking water. The official explains that even though a portion of the Madurai district is covered by the Vaigai dam, the district gets priority over its neighbouring districts for water supply and the available water will be supplied first to Madurai.

  • Districts that are likely to face problems are Sivaganga, Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram

  • Hardly 10 more days are left for the withdrawal of northeast monsoon