Water crisis
During the summer this year, Chennai got its major water supply from Veeranam lake in Cuddalore district.
Wikimedia Commons/By R Srikanth

Chennai’s water crisis will hopefully improve from mid-September as the city’s water sources are set to get inflows in a few days. According to reports, Veeranam lake, which receives its water from Cauvery river via Mettur dam, has started filling up after water was released from the Stanley reservoir at Mettur in Salem district on August 13. 

The storage in the lake was at 153 mcft (million cubic feet) as against its full level of 1,465 mcft on Friday. Veeranam was a major source to meet Chennai’s water requirements during summer this year. The city draws around 60 million litres a day (MLD) of water from Veeranam at present. This could go upto 180 MLD as the water level in the lake increases.

As on Sunday, the water levels at the four major reservoirs that supply water to Chennai stood at 0.14% of the total water-holding capacity. Poondi is the only reservoir that has water in it while the remaining three reservoirs – Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam – drew a blank. As far as Poondi reservoir is concerned, it will take a few more days to get its share of water from the Krishna river. 

According to The Hindu, the water in Somasila dam and Kandaleru dam  - both in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh - are much below the levels at which water can be released. While Somasila continues to get water from Srisailam dam (on Krishna river) at 24,600 cusecs (cubic feet per second), the authorities have said that it will take at least 15 days for the water to be released to Tamil Nadu from Somasila and Kandaleru.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami wrote to YS Jaganmohan Reddy, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, to release 8 tmcft (one thousand million cubic feet) of Krishna water to Tamil Nadu, to which he responded positively. 

Tamil Nadu ministers D Jayakumar and SP Velumani met Jaganmohan Reddy a few weeks ago and had handed over a letter from the Edappadi Palaniswami. Based on Palaniswami’s request, Jaganmohan Reddy had ordered Andhra Pradesh’s Public Works Department officials to take immediate action to release water to Tamil Nadu.