The State Government has asked the Andhra Pradesh Government to maintain the discharge of Krishna water for a few more months to improve Chennai’s drinking water supply.
According to sources in the Water Resources Department (WRD), in the past two months, Chennai has received a steady flow of Krishna water, sufficient to meet drinking water needs of residents for little over a month.
Poondi reservoir, one of the major storage facilities for the city, has realised about 1.1 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) of Krishna water since mid-June when water was discharged from Kandaleru reservoir.
On Thursday, the entry point of the Kandaleru-Poondi canal, at Uthukottai in Tamil Nadu limits, received about 260 cubic feet per second (cusecs). It had earlier received, till a week ago, up to 300 cusecs.
Of late, the volume has dipped owing to a slight decrease in the discharge of water from Kandaleru reservoir, from 1,100 cusecs last week to 960 cusecs now. The State’s border receives much less volume because of the damaged portion in the canal near Varadapalayam.
Water is diverted through a temporary arrangement of pipelines, which have limited capacity, to Chennai.
Officials of the WRD said Kandaleru reservoir now has storage of nearly 26 tmcft of water against its capacity of 68 tmcft. If the present flow continues till the onset of the northeast monsoon, it will help sustain drinking water supply to the city.
At present, the city is being supplied nearly 830 million litres a day through pipeline and tankers. Water received at Poondi reservoir is transmitted to Red Hills and Chembarambakkam from where they are treated and transported to the pipeline network.
About 320 cusecs is being drawn daily from the reservoirs to cater to the drinking water needs of the city residents, an official said. The water bodies lose five million cubic feet of water (mcft) daily due to evaporation.
“With the available resources of 3,526 mcft in the four city reservoirs, we will be able to manage water supply till November. Krishna water will help augment the demand in the absence of resource in Veeranam tank,” sources said.
Chennai has, so far, realised nearly 59 tmcft of Krishna water since the project was implemented in 1996.