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Jan 29, 2009

Siruvani Dam Water Level Is Dipping Steadily

Water level in the Siruvani Dam is dipping steadily, warning of trouble this summer. The city looks set for a drinking water crisis this summer, going by the present situation in the Siruvani Dam. And, this time, the Pilloor scheme will not be able to play saviour for the western parts of the city that get Siruvani water because it has to provide water to more layouts than in the previous years.

The water level in the Siruvani Dam (on Wednesday) is 57 ft, as against the full reservoir level of 67 ft. “It is two feet less than the level at this time last year,” Coimbatore Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra said. “The situation is not alarming as of now. But, a crisis may come after March. So, there is need for austerity in the use of drinking water,” he says. The Corporation got a little over 67 million litres of water on Wednesday, as against the 87 million litres a day (mld) of normal supply.


Poor monsoon had reduced the supply to around 70 mld even around October. “A month later, we may get only around 60 mld,” says the Commissioner. This may force the civic body to change its supply schedule from alternate days to once in three days. But, everything depends on how much people co-operate in avoiding wastage of water. Austerity must begin now, according to Mr. Mishra. People should desist from using drinking water to wash cars. Small changes like not using the shower can control wastage, says the Commissioner.


“People tend to empty a bucket of water stored overnight, when they get fresh water the next day. This should be avoided. What you store for a day is as good as the fresh supply,” he explains. The Commissioner warns that the Pilloor scheme, which supplies drinking water to the eastern parts of the city, will not be able to compensate the shortfall in the Siruvani-served areas. In 2001, the Corporation laid a pipeline to link the Pilloor mainline with the Siruvani scheme tank at Sivananda Colony.


That year and in the three years that followed, the Corporation diverted 15 mld from the Pilloor line to the tank when the water level in the Siruvani Dam dipped drastically towards dead storage. This year, the Corporation cannot do this as 761 newly-regularised layouts are being provided with drinking water lines. This is leading to the Pilloor scheme shifting from a position of surplus to one of deficit. The situation will improve across the city when the Rs.113-crore Pilloor Phase II water scheme is implemented in another 18 months, says the Commissioner.

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