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Surplus water in dams

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NATURAL BOUNTY: Water gushing out of Vaigai Dam. —
NATURAL BOUNTY: Water gushing out of Vaigai Dam. —

450 mcft of water released from Vaigai Dam after rains

MADURAI: The incessant downpour in the southern districts has left four out of six reservoirs in the Periyar-Vaigai system surplussing.

Major among the surplussing dams is the Vaigai reservoir. Excess water is being released from it since Sunday. The level touched 70.01 feet on Wednesday morning, which is just one foot less than the maximum water level of 71 feet.

Besides rain water from catchment areas, the riverbed has got good wetting after the release of excess water from the Vaigai dam.

Till date, over 450 mcft of water has been let into the river. This water could have met six months of drinking water supply to Madurai city.

With no significant rainfall reported in its catchment areas for the last three days, the Public Works Department officials have reduced the discharge to maintain maximum storage in the dam.

Though the dam was getting 1,927 cusecs of inflow, the outflow was only 211 cusecs. The dam has a storage of 5,329 mcft.

Other surplussing dams are Manjalar, Marudhanadi and Sothuparai. Sothuparai dam was the first among minor dams where water spilled overon March 19.

The level in the dam was 126.48 feet (126 feet) with an inflow and discharge of 81 cusecs.

Water from the Manjalar dam was being discharged since March 23.

The water level here stood at 56.60 feet (57 feet). Marudhanadi had water to its brim of 64 feet since March 24.

Though the Periyar reservoir still has 10 feet to fill, it has also immensely benefited from the recent long spell of shower.

The water level at 114 feet on March 14 has shot up by over 12 feet till date.

Sathaiyar dam water level was just three feet short of its full level of 29 feet. The rain has recharged the ground water table in almost all the districts in the Periyar-Vaigai system, pre-empting any need for wetting of riverbed to replenish the infiltration wells that supply water to many local bodies in the southern districts.

The water-logged fields and full tanks would encourage more summer cultivation.

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