Thiruvananthapuram

KWA gets ready for a tough summer

On Friday, the water level in the Peppara dam stood at 104.5 metres.

On Friday, the water level in the Peppara dam stood at 104.5 metres.  

Kerala Water Authority (KWA) officials in the district are keeping their fingers crossed with all indications pointing to a tough summer ahead.

Storage in the Peppara dam indicates that the capital city region is in a comparatively safer zone as there is enough water to last till June. But rural Thiruvananthapuram could face the same problems it did last year.

Difficult time

A large number of panchayats and the municipalities of Attingal and Varkala which bank on the Vamanapuram river for drinking water are likely to have a difficult time as water levels have already started dipping.

On Friday, the water level in the Peppara dam - the chief source of water for the city region - stood at 104.5 metres. Last year on the same day, the storage had been 104.91 metres.

“The storage is adequate for 120 days,” a KWA official said. On the other hand, the KWA is worried about the seasonal spike in summer-time consumption.

“The storage indicates that city supply should not be a problem. On the other hand, per capita consumption of water easily rises by 25% during the summer months. Negotiating the summer without a crisis would hinge on judicious consumption patterns,” Suresh Chandran, Superintending Engineer, Thiruvananthapuram Circle, KWA, said. Residents had gheraoed the KWA office in Peroorkada on Friday after a water diversion to solve the shortage in Technopark hit supply in residential areas in the city. The matter has been sorted out, KWA officials said.

With water levels in the Vamanapuram river dipping alarmingly during the 2019 summer, the KWA was forced to regulate supply in northern parts of Thiruvananthapuram district, including Varkala and Attingal municipalities.

This year, the situation has not worsened so much to warrant such extreme measures yet, but the two bunds erected on the river may not prove adequate to ensure water levels for uninterrupted supply by April.

KWA officials are also hoping for copious summer rainfall which would help avert a crisis in this region. “Already we have been forced to shut down one of two pumps in the pump house supplying Attingal due to the dipping water levels. The situation will worsen,” a KWA official said. Vamanapuram river is the source for a number of KWA schemes catering to 28 panchayats and the two municipalities.

Vast stretches of the river had run dry during the two previous summers.

Check dams

Although the KWA had recommended the construction of five check-dams on the Vamanapuram river, not even one has been constructed ahead of summer 2020. Though the Water Resources Department has plans to build a storage dam in the upper reaches, the project is yet to make any progress, sources said.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 3:50:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/kwa-gets-ready-for-a-tough-summer/article30953717.ece

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