Groundwater level in the city may have witnessed a dip in May this year compared to previous months, but it has remained better compared to May last year, according to data released by the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board.

The average groundwater level has improved by nearly one metre this May compared to the level in May last year. The water utility monitors water table and quality through 145 shallow observation wells spread across the city.

According to data released by the board, in some zones such as Adyar, Perungudi and Ambattur, the water table has increased by two metres this May compared to May last year. For instance, the groundwater at Alandur zone was available at a depth of 8.93 metres in May last year. But, there has been a substantial increase and the water table stood at a depth of 6.17 metre this May.

While soil conditions in different locations and rainfall during previous northeast monsoon are said to play a significant role in improvement in water table, there was reduced dependence on groundwater sources this year, said officials of the board.

Although there has been a decline in water table during May compared to February, it was not alarming compared to previous year. The water table has gone down by 0.50 metre to one metre in many zones in May. In some zones, the dip was only marginal. The water level in Teynampet zone stood at 5.63 metre in May compared to 5.43 metre in February.

Less commercial use

Officials said one of the main reasons could be better water supply and less dependence on groundwater resources in the past few months. As commercial and industrial demand has come down sharply in the past few months because of COVID-19, more drinking water is diverted to domestic consumers through pipeline.

At present, the city is being supplied with 700 million litres of water a day. This may have led to reduced utilisation of groundwater by residents for daily use. Moreover, groundwater extraction for commercial use had also dipped over the past few months and could have helped sustain the water table, officials added.

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