Surviving drought: Kerala imposes curbs on water use

Faced with a worsening drought situation, the government has imposed curbs on the use of water in reservoirs and stepped up the review and monitoring system at the district level.

District Collectors have been directed to stop the release of water through canals for irrigation and keep a close tab on the water level in reservoirs. The assessment of the water situation in terms of Litres Per Capita per Day (LPCD) is being reported to the government on a regular basis. The Chief Secretary is closely monitoring the situation in each district and coordinating drought mitigation.

“The focus is on ensuring the availability of drinking water up to the onset of the southwest monsoon in June,” said Sekhar L. Kuriakose, member secretary, State Disaster Management Authority.

Efforts are on to establish drinking water kiosks in all wards. The project is expected to achieve momentum with the finalisation of the rate contract for installation of tanks by the Joint Commissioner, Land Revenue.

The government is also monitoring the utilisation of groundwater by industries. The SDMA had proposed a 75 per cent cut in the extraction of groundwater by industries. The impact of the drought on the tourism, industries and power sectors is being closely observed. Official sources said the loss caused by the drought in these sectors would be assessed and included in the State’s memorandum to the Centre.

The storage position in the hydel projects across the State had dipped to 45 per cent of the total capacity on Thursday, enough to generate 1,873 million units of electricity, according to the system statistics of the State Load Despatch Centre, Kalamassery. Last year, the reservoirs had enough water to generate 2,676 mu. The situation was much better in 2015 (3,134 mu) and 2014 (3,646 mu).

Meanwhile, the season’s rainfall from January 1 shows a deficit of 99 per cent, signalling a post-monsoon dry spell expected to last till March. Weathermen are keeping their fingers crossed in expectation of good summer showers in the subsequent period.

The isolated showers during the current dry spell are not expected to improve the water situation.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 7:50:48 pm |