With reservoirs on a low, officials write to A.P. government

Amidst depleting storage in reservoirs and the soaring temperature, the water resources department (WRD) has written to the Andhra Pradesh (A.P.) government seeking release of Krishna water from July 1.

This will help meet Chennai’s requirement of nearly 600 million litres a day (mld) until October, when the northeast monsoon sets in, said officials.

The optimum demand for the city is 1,000 mld for nearly 7 lakh consumers, including in the added areas.

At present, the reservoirs at Red Hills, Chembarambakkam and Poondi have storage of 2,600 million cubic feet of water (mcft), less than 30 per cent of their total capacity. Cholavaram reservoir has remained dry from last year.

Sources at WRD said Chennai residents can be supplied with drinking water with the available resource in the reservoirs for another three months.

Water from Veeranam tank in Cuddalore district will also help augment the city’s needs to the tune of 180 mld.

However, Krishna water, suspended last month as the first spell is over, is imperative in meeting Chennai’s requirements, particularly when pre-monsoon showers have failed to replenish the waterbodies.

On an average, the reservoirs lose about five mcft of water due to evaporation daily, said an official.

To ensure the supply of drinking water to Chennai households, WRD has emphasised on the release of water from A.P.’s Kandaleru reservoir, which has sufficient storage.

“We received 5,600 mcft of Krishna water, last year. We were able to ensure water supply and also maintain storage. If we get 300-400 cubic feet of water per second, we will be able to step up storage until the monsoon,” said the official.

Sources at Metrowater said, “We have reduced the volume of water supplied from 810 mld to 600 mld, and reorganised distribution in such a way that residents receive water daily. Water from well fields in Poondi and Thamaraipakkam and the desalination plants are also being used. We have well fields in Tiruvallur and the Neyveli aquifer, as reserve, in case of a water crisis.”

More In: Society | Chennai