More hardship awaits a water starved Chennai, as the four reservoirs that it sources water from are set to go dry in a few days. Metrowater, in the coming weeks, will reduce its supply to 420-470 Million litre per day (MLD) from the 500 MLD it was providing, reports ToI.
Residents in Central Chennai, Porur, Alandur and surroundings will reportedly be affected with the Chembarambakkam reservoir dry as official figures show storage at 53 McFt as against 1996 McFt last year. Now, the water to be supplied will depend on availability of groundwater at Metrowater sources in Tiruvallur and Neyveli.
“We will divert water from other sources to affected areas to ensure there is no shortage. Our 100 MLD desalination plants at Nemmeli and Minjur are running at full capacity ,“ said a senior Metrowater official to ToI.
According to reports, the two plants produce close to 195 MLD currently. The rest of the water needs to sourced from the Neyveli basin, Tiruvallur farms and rainwater stored in Sikkarayapuram. Even the Red Hills reservoir is likely to dry out by the end of the week with storage at 33 McFt as against the full capacity of 3300 McFt. To reach out to the low income groups, Metrowater has reportedly increased free water supply through tankers by 40%. The number of free tanker trips have increased from 3000 to 5000 a day to meet people's needs.
Metrowater has plans to tap quarry sites to supplement drinking water sources. An earlier report in ToI noted that quarried sites located in Chennai’s Outer Ring Road contain 3000 million litres of water. Officials had planned to pump water from these sites through a pipeline to Chembarambakkam treatment plant, from where it will be distributed to homes in Chennai Central.
Meanwhile, a senior official at Metrowater admitted to TNM that the water situation in Chennai is “bad” and noted that if the southwest monsoon fails, the city will be staring at a crisis. “If it does not rain and groundwater is not recharged, borewells will start failing and then it will be a crisis,” he said. The Metrowater official added that south and central Chennai will be worst hit.
Chennai has been facing an acute water for months now, following a 60% deficit in the northeast monsoon. Tamil Nadu has been declared drought-hit, with the state witnessing its worst drought in 140 years.
Here’s what you can do to conserve water and avoid wastage.