Chennai's reservoirs adequately full, will ensure supply till May 2021: Officials

Chennai Metrowater is hopeful of ensuring 700 MLD water supply to the residents till May next year.
Women filling water in pots
Women filling water in pots
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In what comes as good news for Chennai residents, the Chennai Metrowater has said that it is hopeful of ensuring 700 MLD (million liters a day) water supply to the residents till May next year. All thanks to comfortable storage in the four chief reservoirs and the anticipated four tmcft Krishna river water that is to come from Andhra Pradesh starting next week.

"With the available water sources and the four tmcft Krishna water that will be available from September 14, city residents will be provided uninterrupted 700 MLD water till May 2021," state Local Administration Minister S P Velumani said. The four reservoirs' - Chembarabakkam, Red Hills, Poondi and Cholavaram - combined storage as of Tuesday stood at 4,048 mcft (million cubic feet) as against the full reservoir capacity of (combined) 11,257 mcft water.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami has requested his Andhra Pradesh counterpart to release four tmcft (thousand million cubic ft) water from Krishna river and Y S Jaganmohan Reddy assured to provide the water from Monday, the minister said.

According to a senior official in Metrowater, the city's groundwater level too has improved to about one-meter over 5.5-meter level in July last year. The groundwater level and groundwater quality were being monitored by the Metrowater at its 145 monitoring wells on a regular basis. 

The southwest monsoon too has helped improve the water position during June, July and August, to some extent, the official said. Chennai heavily relies on the northeast monsoon between October-December, which accounts for the bulk of rainfall replenishing the reservoirs. The four reservoirs, the lifeline for Chennai, had gone bone dry last year, making it an arduous task for the officials to even maintain the regular supplies, forcing residents to depend on private water suppliers. 

During the corresponding period last year, only the Poondi reservoir had 16 mcft water. The city gets 180 MLD water from Veeranam and 180 MLD from the desalination plants at Nemmeli and Minjur. Besides, there are open wells in Tiruvallur district and quarries at Chikkarayapuram and Erumaiyur that supplement the water supply.

Velumani, who reviewed the pace of projects initiated to meet the shortfall in water supply, asked officials to make sure that the supply of water was uninterrupted and prevent crowding of people at public places due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Sufficient precautions should be taken to make certain that social distancing norms were put to practice.

(With inputs from PTI)

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