600-700 cusecs expected; inflows at Poondi had stopped earlier this month

Chennai may breathe easy this summer as Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh will arrive in Chennai on Sunday morning.

Poondi reservoir in Tiruvallur district, which stores and supplies Krishna water to Chennai, stopped receiving any from the neighbouring State earlier this month. The reason cited for the reduction in allocation was that irrigation needs had been met.

However, after the recent discussion between teams from the two States, the Andhra Pradesh government agreed to release Krishna water to Chennai for three months. Krishna water proves to be crucial at this time of the year when the water resources are fast-depleting and the groundwater level is also on the decline.

Officials of the Water Resources Department said Krishna water from Kandaleru reservoir, located nearly 183 km upstream of the Poondi reservoir, was released two days ago. It touched the 150- km-point of the Kandaleru Poondi canal near Sathyavedu on Saturday evening. “Water will reach the canal’s entry point in Tamil Nadu border by Sunday morning and the Poondi reservoir by Sunday night,” said an official.

About 1,200 cubic feet per second (cusecs) of Krishna water was released on Saturday. “We expect to receive about 600-700 cubic feet every second at Poondi reservoir even if water is diverted for the drinking water needs of Tirupati and Kalahasti,” the official added. One cusec is equal to 28.3 litres of water.

While half of the amount received would be utilised for the city’s water supply, the remaining amount would help step up storage of the city reservoirs, which are currently at 30 per cent of their storage capacity. Currently, Chennai is being supplied with 585 million litres of water on alternate days.