River Thamirabarani is the lifeline of Tuticorin, Tirunelveli, Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram. This river has almost faced no issue of depletion. But, this river's tributaries and the dams are facing heavy recession of capacity.
Manimuthaaru, Sitraaru, Servalaaru, Kadnanadhi, Pacchaiyaaru are Thamirabarani's tributaries. The pivotal dams are Papanaasam, Manimuthaaru, Pechipaarai and Mukkadal.
Of these, it is the Manimuthaaru and Papanaasam that holds 55 TMC of water, with its depth being 118 and 143 feet respectively. The water level of Papanaasam dam has plunged to a dismal 9.20 feet and the Manimuthaaru has come down to a paltry 47.18 feet.
The Papanaasam dam now is full of puddles and just 4 cubic feet of water per second is getting released. Manimuthaaru dam caters to the drinking water needs. 300 cubic feet of water is released per second from this dam.
With the sweltering summer, the needs increases concomitantly to the drying up of Manimuthaaru. If the dam dries up, Tuticorin, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli and Ramanathapuram will face a nightmarish crisis.
Pechiparai dam is indispensable for agriculture and it is under maintenance, its capacity being 48 feet its current hold is a pitieous 1.90 feet.
Mukkadal dam that provides for Nagercoil's drinking supply is downsized by 10 feet from its capacity of 25 feet.
With such a pessimistic status quo of dams, a lot rides on the back of monsoon. If monsoon too evades, the state would be in a sheer catastrophe.