Woes of scarcity

Well done: People waiting for their turn to collect water from a public well on Chathiram Street in Dindigul. PHOTO : G. KARTHIKEYAN.

From THE HINDU

Salem: Water scarcity issue takes centre stage at Corporation meet

SALEM: The issue over water scarcity took centre stage at the Salem Corporation council meeting here on Friday with councillors from All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) staging a novel protest by wearing black shirts and covering their mouths with pieces of black cloth.

AIADMK’s ward 38 councillor J. Manickam however went a step further by entering the council hall with two men wearing uniforms similar to that of security black cats. Both carried toy guns.

Danger

Manickam said that his life was in danger since the residents in his ward were ‘very upset and angry’ as he could not provide them water.

They might manhandle him at any time, he feared. Police however removed the two men from the Corporation premises after breaking their toy guns.

AIADMK whip Balasubramaniam said that the city was under the severe grip of water scarcity.

He claimed that the supply was erratic and scarce.

People had started agitating for water every day.

The civic body had failed to take any action in this regard.

“We have to face the ire of the people in our wards. The issue which is vital should be immediately solved,” he demanded.

Reacting to the allegations, DMK’s zonal chairman Natesan said that it was the DMK government, which during 1996-2001, had initiated a separate water supply schemes for Salem and Attur.

But the subsequent AIADMK government had failed to execute the same.

“That is why we face the problem today,” he claimed. The AIADMK members strongly objected to it.

Replying, Commissioner K. S. Palanisamy said that steps had been taken to address the issue seriously.

A committee also was formed exclusively to deal with the water issue.

The TWAD Board was undertaking repair and maintenance works in the Mettur pipeline and the supply would be restored to normalcy soon.

Further, the State had also sanctioned Rs. 2 crore to mitigate the water problem in the district, he added.

Mayor J. Rekha Priyadarshini said that the Salem Dedicated Water Supply Scheme would be taken up shortly.

Once the project was completed, Salem city would not face the water shortage.

The council also discussed other civic issues including sanitation and garbage removal.

From THE HINDU

Coimbatore Corporation begins efforts to avoid water scarcity

COIMBATORE: Indications of summer-specific austerity measures relating to drinking water supply came from the Coimbatore Corporation on Wednesday after it took stock of the situation in the Siruvani and Pilloor dams.

Mayor R. Venkatachalam, Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra and officials of the Corporation and the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board took part in the stock-taking meeting. The Corporation decided to provide from Thursday 1.5 lakh litres of Siruvani water in lorries to the scarcity-hit areas under the Pilloor scheme. At the same time, the Corporation also appeared to be contemplating further staggering of supply in the Siruvani-served areas also.

From the present alternate day supply, the Siruvani areas might get water only once in four days given the pressure for equitable distribution across the city and also the possibility of water level in the Siruvani Dam plunging fast because of a harsh summer.

But, such a change, that always faced the prospects of a protest, would be first discussed with the leaders of the political parties in the Corporation Council, sources in the civic body said.

The Mayor played down the option of the once-in-four-days supply by saying that a good summer shower might help the Corporation avoid it. At the same time, he also quoted Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board officials as saying at the meeting that the water position in the Siruvani Dam now suggested that 85 million litres a day could be supplied till June. But, nothing could be certain going by only the present situation.

Siruvani had a history of a quickly plunging water level when the summer turned harsher. Therefore, once-in-four days supply could be a fallback option.

“But, right now, we are starting off with 15 lorry loads (of 9,000 litres to 10,000 litres each) of Siruvani water to four wards in the eastern section in order to offset the shortage in Pilloor supply,” the Mayor said.

This would be in addition to the lorry supply that was on for years in the eastern parts of the city.

The lorry supply would be done till April 1. Another assessment of the situation would be done at that time to decide on further staggering of Siruvani supply.

K.V. Prasad From THE HINDU

Tiruchi: Water scarcity

There is acute drinking water scarcity in Anbu Nagar in Crawford area. Drinking water is supplied here only once in three days, that too for half an hour. The Corporation is collecting water charge of Rs. 600 for every six months. Though plenty of water is flowing in THE Cauvery river, it is surprising that the Corporation is not able to supply drinking water on alternate days, if not daily.

G. Baskaran, Anbu Nagar. 

From THE HINDU

Water Scarcity Looms as Population, Temperature Rise

Press on August 6, 2009 – By – Worldwatch.org 

Water scarcity is increasing in many regions as factors including population growth, climate change, and pollution restrict the amount of water available relative to demand. In 2008, 1.4 billion people lived in “closed basins”-regions where existing water cannot meet the agricultural, municipal, and environmental needs for all. This number is expected to grow to 1.8 billion by 2025.

According to the latest Vital Signs snapshot of water scarcity trends:

  • Population growth is a major driver of water scarcity at the regional and global levels. Urbanization and rising incomes-two trends prominent in rapidly developing countries such as China, India, and Brazil-also contribute to increased domestic and industrial demand for water.
  • Several major rivers, including the Indus, Rio Grande, Colorado, Murray-Darling, and Yellow, no longer reach the sea year-round as a growing share of their waters are claimed for various uses.
  • Diets heavy in livestock are water intensive because of the huge quantities of water required for livestock production. Similarly, fossil fuel production requires many times more water than renewable energy sources do.

This new water scarcity update includes the latest figures on water consumption by energy type and water dependence of selected countries.

Read the Vital Signs analysis, “Water Scarcity Looms.”

Deficit rainfall further aggravates water scarcity in Madhya Pradesh

Datia (Madhya Pradesh), Aug. 9(ANI): Farmers are a worried lot in Madhya Pradesh’s Datia district as they are experiencing acute water scarcity, which has been further aggravated by deficit rainfall leading to a drought like situation in the region.

“Due to inadequate rains we are sitting idle. We have no work. Our crops are dying for want of water,” said Balram Singh, a farmer.

Meanwhile, concerned officials of the district administration say that they have initiated steps to tackle the situation.

“Our main source (of water) Ram Sagar Dam wasn’t able to fill due to scanty rainfall. Water for 35 days is remaining in the dam. We provide water to 80 percent area of Datia through filter plants and tanks. In remaining 20 percent of area, which has no lines for water supply, water is being provided through tankers,” said Ganda Lal, Commissioner of Municipal Corporation.

“For enhancing the water supply, a programme is being developed by the State Government at a cost of Rs 3.36 crore. It will be objective of the district administration and ours to ensure that the programme is implemented before Ram Sagar dam dries,” he added.

As for the trends leading to drought, agriculture scientists are of the view that farmers and others should wisely utilise water as the situation is grim.

“Farmers and people using water should ensure proper utilisation of water. We don’t have enough water. People should discretely fetch water from wells. If they try to fetch water in excess, wells will dry and it will be impossible to revive these wells,” said Y M Cool, Agronomist at Agricultural University in Gwalior.

Total rainfall in the country since the beginning of June was 19 percent below average, pulled down by the driest June in 83 years, data from the India Meteorological Department showed. (ANI)

By SindhToday

Water Scarcity and the Role of Storage in Development

Under all but the most optimistic scenarios, there is a dearth of freshwater storage.

If climate change as a result of global warming manifests, the need for freshwater storage will become even more acute. Increasing storage through a combination of groundwater and large and small surface water facilities is critical to meeting the water of the twenty-first century.

This is especially so in monsoonal Asia and the developing countries in the tropics and semitropics. As an immediate first step, we must assess the major river basins of the world, whether they are open, closed or semi-closed.

The productivity of water as presently used must also be assessed to determine the extent to which increased demands for irrigated agricultural production can be met by increasing water productivity, and the extent to which increased demands will require increased consumption of water.

The uncommitted discharges from those basins that are open or semi-closed must then be determined, and plans made to effectively capture and put this water to use.

Combinations of small and large storage and surface water and groundwater recharge are generally the best systems where they are feasible. In monsoonal Asia, research and development are needed on how to manage water under monsoonal conditions.

For More Information

Research Report by Andrew Keller R. Sakthivadivel and David Seckler