CHENNAI:The showers have been heavy, particularly in the last few days, but the water managers who have to plan for the drinking water needs for the summer and crop season are not very excited. They feel more rain is required to fill up reservoirs across the State if Tamil Nadu has to meet the demand in the coming months.
According to sources in the Water Resources Department of the PWD, though rains have brought some much needed respite by bringing good inflow to the reservoirs that were fast depleting to alarming levels, this still might not be enough for irrigation purposes in the coming days. Only a week ago, Mettur reservoir had only 60 feet of water, which increased to 80 ft due to the rains since then.
“It is a welcome sign but when compared to last year it is way low,” said an official, pointing out that the present storage was 42,828 mcft, while last year it was 66,944 mcft. The reservoir has a capacity of 93,470 mcft. The same is the case with Bhavanisagar dam, which has a capacity of 32,800 mcft. Storage at present is 9,891 mcft, about half of what it was last year (18,651 mcft).
On the brighter side, some of the reservoirs received substantial inflow when compared to last year. These include Vaigai dam, Pechiparai dam, Perunchani dam in Kalkulam taluk in Kanyakumari district, Krishnagiri dam and Sathanur Dam across Thenpennai river. In Vaigai reservoir, the current storage is 2,540 mcft, which is more than that of last year’s 2,236 mcft.
The situation is even better at Pechiparai, which is on the verge of getting filled. The current storage level is 4,028 mcft, which is only 425 mcft short of full level. Last year, the reservoir had 3,881 mcft.
The rains have increased the storage level in Krishnagiri dam, too. Last year it was 1,474 mcft and this year it is 1,585 mcft. Among the dams, Sathanur is the biggest beneficiary where the level has risen by more than double. The current storage is 3,754 mcft while it was only 1,617 mcft last year.