Depleting Vaigai dam level raises concern over possible drinking water shortage

July 13, 2020 09:54 pm | Updated July 14, 2020 02:53 am IST - Theni

The water level in Vaigai dam stood at 32.71 feet on Monday, against the total level of 71 feet. File photo

The water level in Vaigai dam stood at 32.71 feet on Monday, against the total level of 71 feet. File photo

The scanty rainfall received during the southwest monsoon and the depleting water level in Vaigai dam have raised concern over the possible shortage in supply of drinking water to parts of Theni and Madurai districts.

However, officials say that there is sufficient water to meet the drinking water needs of these districts.

Despite the onset of the monsoon, Theni district recorded less rainfall. As a result, the water level in Vaigai dam stood at 32.71 feet on Monday, against the total level of 71 feet.

Currently, 72 cusecs of water is discharged from Vaigai dam every day. Out of that, 48 cusecs is meant for Madurai Corporation. A total of 12 cusecs of water is released to meet the drinking water needs of Andipatti and Sedapatti. The remaining 12 cusecs is released to meet drinking water needs of Theni Allinagaram and Vadugapatti.

An official from the Public Works Department (PWD) said that since the onset of southwest monsoon, the water level in Periyar dam had risen by one feet.

“A total of 125 cusecs is discharged from the dam to Theni district and only around 15 cusecs reaches the Vaigai dam,” he said.

The official added that though the current water availability in Vaigai dam may not be sufficient to sustain the drinking water needs for the upcoming months, the additional water received to Periyar dam can be diverted to Vaigai dam. “This will ensure that sufficient drinking water is available,” he added.

A Madurai Corporation engineer said that there was sufficient water to continue the supply of drinking water on alternate days for the next three months.

An official from Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board said that the recent river wetting had helped to recharge infiltration wells sunk in Vaigai riverbed. “This has ensured sufficient drinking water availability for Andipatti and Sedapatti,” he said.

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