THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While the authorities do not anticipate a severe drought as was the case in 2016-17, they say there is no room for complacency in matters of water conservation and rain water harvesting. Experts say there is no need for panic at the moment as the drought is not expected to be worse this time. The reduction in rainfall is much lesser, water level in reservoirs is slightly better compared to last year and drinking water shortage is confined to areas which has faced the problem traditionally.
The government is expected to come out with specific details regarding the activities that would be permitted and the water conservation measures to be undertaken in a couple of days. Experts say utmost attention needs to be given to prevent wastage and misuse of water. Efforts should be made for reuse and recycle of water. The waste water from kitchen can be used effectively for watering plants.
Though the government had given specific directions in 2016 for reviving and making rain water harvesting systems in government buildings functional and effective, many offices are yet to comply with the directive. Experts say there is a need for detailed audit of offices which have rain water harvesting set up to check their present status.
At many places periodic repairs are not being carried out and there is no effective mechanism to monitor rain water harvesting system at the moment. The local bodies will have to play a key role in carrying out drought prevention activities. Activities like construction of check dams, rain water harvesting pits, cleaning of ponds and canals needs to be carried out with the help of voluntary organisations. Though the Haritha Keralam Mission is currently undertaking these activities, these need to be extended to more areas.