TN Minister Covers Water With Thermocol to Prevent Evaporation
An 'experiment' by PWD officials to try and cut water loss due to evaporation in Vaigai dam by covering a small portion of it with thermocol sheets came unstuck when parts of it were swept away by strong winds.
Tamil Nadu minister for cooperatives Sellur K Raju, who inaugurated the unconventional method to conserve water in drought hit Tamil Nadu, saw the attempt go awry as the sheets flew in different directions in gusty winds in the river.
Water from the Vaigai dam flows through six water starved districts of south Tamil Nadu, including Madurai, Sivaganga, Ramanathpuram Theni and Dindigul districts.
The attempt to spread the sheet at different water levels also did not serve the purpose.
Raju said such methods are used abroad to reduce evaporation and that experts would also be consulted for these initiatives.
He said the state Government had allocated Rs 10 lakh to try out different technologies to prevent water evaporation.
He said 1.2 Million Cubic Feet of water is lost due to evaporation every day.
On use of thermocol, he said this was done as the material was non-polluting.
But Rathnam, a scientist, differed, saying thermocol is non-biodegradable and can harm fish when they break into pieces.
Evaporation Control in Reservoirs: A Report by Central Water Commission
A report published by the Central Water Commission on ‘Evaporation control in reservoirs’ did mention about the use of thermocol as a way to control evaporation. However, the mass use of thermocol was not recommended by the body, which comes under the government of India.
In fact, activists in various part of the country have been trying to spread awareness about the ill effects of thermocol and want it banned.