The city water supply scheme is one of the oldest schemes in India. Karamana River with two reservoirs at Peppara and Aruvikkara is the main surface water source for the city. From the data collected through people’s aspirations survey, it is seen that 81% people in the corporation limits are depending on KWA as their source of water. 10% people dependent on well as their source. It was also found that 4% people are dependent on public water supply tap connection and 3% were dependent on lorry supply. This was mainly found in the coastal areas of the city.
The water supply system for Thiruvananthapuram was designed in 1928 and commissioned in 1933. The source of supply is the Karamana River. The flow through the river is much in excess of the actual daily requirements during the whole of the year, except for a few days in summer when the flow is less than the city’s daily water supply requirements. Hence, a 4.6-meter high overflow-type dam was constructed in 1931 across the river at Aruvikara, about 16 kilometers away from the city to store water when in surplus. The project, named Wellington Water Works, had a distribution capacity of 20million liters. Today it is approximately 300 MLD water. It is distributed throughout the city.
Trivandrum is the only city in India where water is supplied for 24 hrs. It is done through more than 30,000 public taps and free pipe connections for BPL families. Water is treated with Advanced Pulsation Technology in the new treatment plant. Quality water supply is ensured by 24-hour monitoring. Main city roads in Trivandrum have water pipelines on both sides. Water distribution is successful in newly created wards with the help of JICA project. Pipe water distribution network covers most part of the city and it is an overwhelming achievement for Trivandrum.
Major issues we face are water scarcity, especially in winter. Also, there is a distribution loss 35.50%, amounting to 96 MLD of treated water. Most of the leaks detected are from the old and corroded system of service connectors. Due to the reformation of roads, consumers always costs good money to change older pipelines. When it comes to a road crossing they have to wait for a long time to clear papers and it costs money as well. The major problem with water leakage is that it is a difficult task to find its origin. In several places, drainage and water lines are close together, in some places pipelines are inside drainage passages. In that cases, it is unnoticed if there is a leakage in pipelines. Some cases are also there like, pipelines passes right through the middle of a road.
So it is absolutely necessary to formulate a complete water policy for Thiruvananthapuram City to step forward with a vision for water supply management. A complete mapping needed of water distribution lines. We have to place water pipelines on both sides of a road to avoid road crossing for taking connections. In order to reduce nonaccountable water, technologically advanced instruments have to be used and modern practices have to be followed. Introducing leak detection sensors in SCADA system will be a better choice. For measuring water usage in distribution lines, we can use of smart sensors with centralized monitoring. Smart meter reading technologies can be also employed even in homes. Booster pump stations can be built for geographically high locations for uninterrupted water supply. Regular water quality checkup is necessary at regular intervals. Strengthen up ‘Blue Brigade’ system to tackle pipe-maintenance work speedily. For paying water bill and other services, e-payment services should be introduced. Maintenance of water pipelines up to the meter point must be a joint responsibility from KWA as well as Corporation. A better coordination needed from different departments of government so that maintenance and other works properly regulated, and need a proper system only for that. A most important thing is a Research Wing of water distribution management system should be introduced to study current as well as future challenges and guide KWA and Corporation accordingly.
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