Coimbatore: As the city corporation is gearing up to meet the water demands for the summer season, residents have already started to feel the pinch of water shortage due to delayed supply.
But the corporation is confident of providing uninterrupted water till June 15. “Based on the water level at dams and current water requirement of the city, we would be able to meet the requirements without any interruption till June,” corporation commissioner K Vijayakarthikeyan said.
The corporation supplies water from Siruvani reservoir to 24 wards in the city, from Aliyar reservoir to seven wards and from Bhavani scheme to another seven wards. The rest of the wards get water from Pillur reservoir.
“The water requirement of the city is 247 millions of litres per day (MLD). While we managed to provide 210 to 215 MLD through pipelines and the remaining quantity through lorries, it is difficult to supply the same quantity from now on as the water level at Siruvani reservoir has started to go down,” a corporation official told TOI.
At present, the water level at Siruvani reservoir stands at 871.05m, while that at Pillur reservoir is almost close to its full capacity. While about 125MLD is drawn from Pillur reservoir, the corporation has been collecting about 80MLD from Siruvani reservoir.
Corporation officials said they have already reduced supply by 5MLD to save water for the summer days. Supply has been delayed by a couple of days in some wards. “If the monsoon fails, we will have to pump water from the dam as we did in 2016 when the city faced a severe water crisis. We will be able to provide water for another two months just by pumping water,” an official said.
In 2016, the civic body drew water from Siruvani dam round-the-clock using six pumps and seven generators as the water level had gone below the average storage level following poor rainfall.
While the corporation officials claimed that they have been supplying water once in five days in most of the wards, the residents disagreed. T Rajeshwari of Selvapuram said that the area, which used to receive water only once a week, now gets it once in 10 days. “I have already purchased more buckets to store water during the summer season. My family needs at least 15 to 20 buckets of water for drinking and cooking. It is going to be difficult to store water till the next supply as people consume more during the summer,” she said.
Expressing hopes that the city will receive good rainfall, Singanallur MLA N Karthik said that the water shortage is not because of water scarcity. “It is due to the corporation’s poor maintenance and distribution system. The corporation has no storage facility and no proper infrastructure. When they are struggling to provide water once a week, how will they provide water 24/7? It is practically impossible.”
Meanwhile, the weathermen were tight-lipped about the monsoon.