NEW DELHI: While the Tamil Nadu government has not declared any area as drought affected but from the rainfall pattern and storage position in reservoirs, it is evident that many districts in the state are staring at severe water scarcity situation, said a central government report.
The “On the Spot Study of Water Situation in Drought Affected Areas of the Country” by the Ministry of Water Resources said that the rainfall during the period from January to April in Tamil Nadu & Puducherry is only 15.52 percent of the normal rainfall which shows a deficit of 84.48 percent due to which the Ground water table and the water level in the major reservoirs are drastically reduced.
“Further it could be seen from the IMD rainfall distribution map for Tamil Nadu for the period from March 2016 to April 2016 that the rainfall has been deficient by 20 to 59 percent of normal rainfall in 2 districts, large deficient by 60 to 99 percent of normal rainfall in 19 districts and by 100 percent deficit in 11 districts,” said the report that assessed situation in all states.
It further said that the state has large number of water bodies/tanks used mainly for irrigation in addition to other purposes but it was observed that most of these tanks have been silted up and the storage capacity has been reduced considerably and needs to be desilted. The regulating system and other components of the water bodies also need major repairs.
The state government has not declared any area as drought affected but as per the Ground water categorization statement of Central Ground Water Board report on Dynamic Ground Water Resources –2011, 33 percent of the blocks in the State are in over exploited category.
“This clearly indicates that the ground water resources have also been depleting year after year and hence, there is not much resource left to meet the current need,” it said.
Recognizing that Tamil Nadu has developed its water resources to a very large extent, the report said that most of these irrigation projects are very old.
“Due to insufficient maintenance/lack of resources most of them are understood to be running below their capacity to serve. There is large scope for modernization of most of these irrigation networks, to save water and divert to drought prone areas,” it added.