Excess rains fail to boost TN groundwater levels

Senior PWD official attributes it to lack of harvesting facilities

Excess rains fail to boost TN groundwater levels

Excess rainfall during North East monsoon may have helped Tamil Nadu farmers prepare for the crop season, but it did not improve the abysmal groundwater levels in 25 districts, raising concerns over availability of drinking water in the state.

A recent weather department record showed that 25 out of 32 districts in the state have reported surplus rainfall, but the PWD department’s State Ground and Surface Water Resources Data Centre report for October 2014 has revealed groundwater levels in nearly 21 districts have remained roughly the same as last year.

Tamil Nadu reported deficit rainfall of 33 per cent during last year’s north-east monsoon, which sets in in October and lasts until the second week of November.

During this year’s monsoon season, Tirunelveli received 430 mm rains since October 1 as against the average of 208 mm, the highest in the state.

However, groundwater in the region dipped to 9.16 metre below the ground level, as against levels seen in the same period last year which was 8.3 metre.

Chennai revealed a similar anomaly. While it reported surplus rains, its groundwater levels plunged by 1.04 metre from 4.71 metre in the same period last year to 5.75 metre.
Tanjavur and Tiruvarur districts, described as the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu, faired worst in terms of groundwater depletion, recording a decrease of 1.58 metre and 1.57 metre respectively. 

However, groundwater levels marginally increased between 0.30 metre to 1.5 metre in districts like Karur, Pudukottai, Dindugal, Ramanathapuram and Kanyakumari.
A senior PWD official attributed poor groundwater levels to lack of harvesting facilities in rural areas.

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