International Journal of
Water Resources and Environmental Engineering

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Water Res. Environ. Eng.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6613
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJWREE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 325

Full Length Research Paper

City scale water audit of a pilgrimage town in South India

Merin Mathew
  • Merin Mathew
  • SCMS School of Engineering and Technology, Karukutty, Kerala 683 576, India.
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Sunny George
  • Sunny George
  • SCMS Water Institute, SSET Campus, Karukutty, Kerala 683 576, India.
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Ratish Menon
  • Ratish Menon
  • SCMS School of Engineering and Technology, Karukutty, Kerala 683 576, India.
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John Tharakan
  • John Tharakan
  • College of Engineering and Architecture, Howard University, Washington DC 20059, USA.
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  •  Received: 09 December 2020
  •  Accepted: 09 February 2021
  •  Published: 31 March 2021


The water need of a religious pilgrimage town in South India would typically be much larger than a regular town where religious  pilgrims  and  ritual  activities  do not add  to the water burden of the municipality. To understand this added water burden, a city scale audit was carried out to estimate the water supply, demand and deficit at Guruvayoor, which is a pilgrimage town in South India. Guruvayoor is popularly known for the Sri Krishna Temple which is visited daily by an average of 10,000 devotees. For the entire municipality, 11,117 open wells, including 144 public wells within the municipal area. The study revealed that increased dependency on ground water sources without proper implementation of rainwater harvesting (RWH) facilities demonstrated a potential threat for the water security of the town. Increased water distribution by water tanker trucks, mostly operated by the unorganized private sector, imported 2.5 MLD of water from the outer bounds of the city to meet the commercial and institutional demand. The results of this investigation showed that urban water security will likely be subject to such external water suppliers, suggesting the need for further research to understand the implications of such a distributed water supply panel on urban water security.

Key words: Urban water security, Pilgrimage town, Guruvayoor, water audit, water demand, South India.