Water crisis looms large as summer heat worsens

May 1, 2014 12:21 PM |

Amidst the political hullabaloo, there is one thing that is missing government attention .i.e. water crisis being reported from different parts of the country. From Imphal in Manipur to Bangalore in South India and from Kendrapara in Odisha to Panvel in Maharashtra all the cities have been feeling the heat due to lack of water as ever increasing summer heat has rapidly depleted the major sources of drinking water such as dams and rivers. Here are few states that have been in news in past one week due to water crisis.


According to a report published in the Times of India, the state's reservoirs have depleted. 93% of lakes and tanks have dried up. The nearly empty reservoirs signal a grave situation not only for drinking water and irrigation, but also for power generation. Sources say that about 60% of the energy generated in the state comes from hdyel power projects. Experts blame inadequate rainfall in the past three years for poor groundwater situation.

Tamil Nadu

Madurai district in Tamil Nadu is facing one of its worst summers and according to Public Works Department of the state, the drinking water storage in Vaigai dam may not last beyond May 5. The Vaigai dam is the major source of drinking water for Madurai. Till last Sunday, water level at Vaigai dam stood at 23.46 ft with a storage of 171 mcft. With evaporation loss estimated at 5 mcft per day, water level will not last for drinking water supply beyond May 5, a report published in the Times of India said


Acute water shortage plagues about 48 seaside villages, with a population of around two lakh, in Mahakalapada and Rajnagar blocks of Kendrapara distric in Odisha. Many of them walk for several miles in the heat to fetch fresh water from faraway villages. Villagers of Ramanagar, Suniti, Kharinasi, Kajalapatia, Pentha, Bagabatia, Jamboo, Baulakani, Bahakuda and Kansarbadadandua villages said they are facing severe drinking water crisis and the problem has worsened with the onset of summer.


Water levels in Singda dam, Imphal and Iril rivers, which provide drinking water to the state capital after being routed through several treatment plants, have drastically decreased, compelling the state public health engineering department (PHED) to cut down on the normal supply rate of drinking water.


The water level in Dehrang dam which supply drinking water to Panvel has touched an alarming low and this might lead to a serious drinking water crisis in the next few days. "We have limited stock of water in Dehrang dam, just enough for seven days. So, we are planning to buy more water from Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran to ensure uninterrupted supply" said PMC chairperson Charushila Gharat to the Times of India. The municipal council supplies about 26 MLD (million litres per day) water to the city to meet the demand of over two lakh residents, of which 12 MLD water comes from Dehrang dam.


Photograph by Tom Maisey

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