Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday ordered the release of 185 million litres a day (MLD) of water from the Veeranam tank in Cuddalore district to Chennai for meeting drinking water requirements.

The tank's level touched 45.8 ft, following the discharge of water from the Mettur dam in Salem district for irrigation in the Cauvery delta and the intensification of the northeast monsoon, according to a press release issued by the Chief Minister.

Located about 225 km south of Chennai, the tank is situated in the tail of the Cauvery river system in the State as it gets the supply through the Vadavar channel from the Lower Anicut on the Coleroon.

The Chief Minister's press release recalls that it was during her regime in 2004 that the New Veeranam Project was inaugurated to supply 180 MLD water to Chennai.

According to the Policy Note of the State Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department for 2012-2013, Chennai Metrowater supplies about 765 MLD to domestic consumers in the city and about 65 MLD of water to bulk consumers such as adjacent local bodies and industries located in the Chennai Metropolitan Area.

As on date, the combined storage of four reservoirs - Chembarampakkam, Red Hills, Cholavaram and Satyamurti Sagar in Poondi - catering to the city was 3,718 million cubic feet (mcft), accounting for about 33 per cent of the reservoirs' total capacity of 11,057 mcft.