Trivandrum: The city received isolated showers on the first day of Chingam and has got KWA closely observing the water level at Peppara Dam, keeping its fingers crossed all the time. With stringent measures like rationing of drinking water being seriously considered to prevent further aggravation of the present crisis, the unexpected rainfall comes in as a pleasant surprise to the city’s population and governing bodies.
The sky generally remained cloudy for most of the day, with isolated instances of light to medium showers. The city area received 1.5 cm of rainfall, while Nedumangad registered 2.7 cm of rain.
“We are closely observing both the sky and the water level at the dam (Peppara),” said K P Krishnakumar, Chief Engineer (South), KWA. “There has been a slight increase in the water level; some water has flowed down into the reservoir in the past 24 hours.”
However, he makes it clear that it needs more than just the occasional shower to alleviate the crisis; but the emergency measures that were to be implemented have been temporarily stalled.
“We are giving it a week's time; if there is enough rainfall and if enough water gets stored in the reservoir, then we could put a hold on the immediate execution of the emergency measures,” says K P Krishnakumar.
The emergency measures include the reworking and relaying of the existing pipeline from Neyyar Dam to Peppara Dam at a cost of Rs.3.2 crores to bring water to Peppara reservoir. But for every 40million litres of water pumped from Neyyar Dam, there is a loss of 10 million litres of water by the time it reaches Peppara reservoir.
If the drought persists, then water supply will have to be rationed. That means no water will be pumped to a particular area in the city for a particular period of time, just like power-cuts.
Currently the water level at Peppara dam can meet the city's needs for only 35 more days. The 'safe' level is when the reservoir contains enough water to meet the city’s demands for 50 days or more.
Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department has forecast thunderstorm with rain during the next 48 hours for the district.