Officials plan new reservoirs, checkdams

With the available resources, the city’s residents may enjoy daily water supply only till the end of July.

The dipping storage in reservoirs and flow to the city’s storage structures and water pressure in pipeline has been worrying residents. Residents of areas such as Mogappair, West Mambalam and T. Nagar are already complaining of less supply.

However, Water Resources Department engineers are planning steps to tide over the shortage this summer with the 4.2 thousand million cubic feet of water (tmcft) available in the reservoirs.

Officials of various wings of the WRD gathered at a meeting organised by the State Water Resources Management Agency (SWARMA) on Friday — World Water Day. R. Emaraj, Chief Engineer, WRD Chennai region, said the Krishna water release to the city has improved on Friday. Andhra Pradesh authorities have assured the officials here that at least five tmcft of the storage in Kandaleru reservoir would be provided.

“We are also in the process of improving the overall drinking water storage capacity from 12.5 tmcft to 14 tmcft by creating new reservoirs by linking water bodies in Thervoy Kandigai and Kannankottai and rejuvenating four lakes,” he said.

Even as projects to construct checkdams across Kosasthalaiyar in Thirukandalam and Nallathur are progressing, the department is considering 12 more checkdams on various rivers in Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts.

Referring to delays in acquiring lands for new reservoirs, R. Selvam, WRD’s Chief Engineer, Plan Formulation, said forming reservoirs in rivers by raising flood banks must be considered to avoid such problems.

While K. Vijayakumar, WRD Chief Engineer, Operation and Maintenance, highlighted the rehabilitation of 42 dams across the State, R.S. Jagadish Chandra Babu, Chief Engineer State Ground & Surface Water Resources Data Centre said that a web-based spatial decision support system for Thamiraparani, Vaipar and Agniar basins is being developed to help decide on what crop to grow. Measures are on for continuous mapping of aquifers of the state, for better groundwater assessment.

R. Subramanian, chairman of Cauvery Technical Cell, spoke on the disputes faced in water sharing. “We must efficiently use water given to us from other States to demand resources,” he said. WRD’s engineer-in-chief K.V. Rajan and SWARMA’s director S.S. Rajagopal spoke on sharing of data on water resources for judicious water management and achieving water cooperation, the theme of this year’s World Water Day.

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