Water is viewed with a sense of entitlement in Kerala. We boast of cleanliness – bathing twice a day, watering gardens, washing vehicles – mocking our neighboring Tamilians of not bathing and being unclean.
We pride our State to be God’s Own Country with rich rainfall, abundant rivers, lakes, and vegetation. But it seems the rain gods are slowly abandoning the State. We are facing the worst drought in 115 years. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, we had a 34% deficiency in southwest monsoon and 69% deficiency in northeast monsoon. In October, the State declared all districts as drought-affected.
The continuing grim situation is ringing alarm bells and the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has recommended water rationing across households and industries. An order of preference has been decided for use of water till May, 2017 with drinking water at the top followed by use of water for household purposes and then industrial use. A series of measures have been imposed to protect water and regulate its use.