Kochi: As saline water intrusion from the sea and the backwaters to the river Periyar has intensified, drinking water supply to the city and suburbs might be disrupted in the coming days.
Though the salt content in river water subsides during day, the salt water goes upstream during high tide at night and early in the morning. According to experts, the phenomenon is a result of the scanty North-East monsoon.
“Since additional water is being released from Bhoothathankettu dam, the salinity level remains within the permissible limits. On Thursday, the presence of salt content was 18 ppm (particles per million) in the river water. The permissible level is 250 ppm. However, saline water is going upstream during high tide. If more water is not released from the dam, it will be difficult to ease the salinity”, said Anil, assistant engineer at the Aluva pump house.
Meanwhile, there has been a growing demand to set up a permanent mechanism to prevent saline water intrusion, as the Periyar is the only drinking water source for the entire city.
It has been observed that with the change in rainfall pattern and increasing salinity in the Periyar, the KWA should install facilities to treat water with high saline density.
According to experts, the intrusion of saline and polluted water to the Periyar will continue to be high in the coming years due to the drop in rainfall....