KOCHI: Scarcity of water is fast becoming urban India’s harshest curse. But Kochiites have not yet experienced a full-blown water crisis except in peak summer. Now, that may change soon. Dry days could be the norm for them.
The revelations from a survey conducted by SCMS Water Institute paint a swarthy picture.
As per the survey, there is a shortage of six million litres of water per day in 27 of the total 74 divisions in the city corporation. They have been identified as ‘highly stressed’ wards and another 18 divisions have been identified as ‘medium stressed.’
The report reveals the groundwater table of Kochi has gone down by 1.5 meters to 2 meters. “Several parts of Kochi are witnessing acute water shortage besides pollution issues. The situation is likely to get worse in the coming years. Several parts of the city are relying heavily on tanker lorries to bridge the demand-supply gap. Although Kochi and adjoining areas get good rains, rainwater harvesting has not done properly. We need to initiate measures to recharge ground water to tackle the situation,” said Sunny George, director, SCMS Water Institute.
Adding to the woes, saline water is also seeping into the groundwater aquifers as far as 1.4 km from the shore into inland. The saline content in water is high in 16 divisions of the corporation. The chloride concentration in groundwater in these areas was found to be 1,000 mg per litre against the permissible limit of less than 250 mg in a litre of potable water. The level of iron content was also found to be high in at least 39 divisions.
While the permissible limit of the iron content is 0.3 mg/litre, in some places it ranges between 1 mg and 14 mg. The report further said water- borne diseases are on the rise in places such as Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, Kacheripadi and Palluruthy.