Metrowater expects to draw 40 million litres of water per day, from these wells

In a bid to manage the city’s water demand during summer, Chennai Metrowater is hiring agricultural wells in Tiruvallur district to draw groundwater and offset the shortfall.

However, officials of Metrowater say these wells will be kept in reserve and be used only as a last resort during summer. At present, Chennai gets 580-600 million litres of water on alternate days due to insufficient resources.

The water agency had recently floated tenders to hire nearly 250 agricultural borewells near Poondi, Tamaraipakkam and Minjur. Some of the villages from where the groundwater will be sourced for city water supply are Magaral, Pullarambakkam, Kilanoor and Siruvanoor Kandigai.

The water agency expects to draw 40 million litres a day (mld) from these wells. Sources say water drawn from the borewells will travel about 40 km through pipelines to Red Hills from where it will be supplied to the city.

Metrowater had earlier purchased water from agricultural wells in 2004 when the city faced severe water scarcity.

There were also plans to buy groundwater at a rate of nearly Rs. 24 per hour in 2010 following a drop in storage at reservoirs catering to Chennai’s water demand. However, the wells were not used then as Krishna water came in handy in augmenting the water supply.

“This year too, we will decide about purchasing water from the agricultural wells depending on how much Krishna water we receive after March,” said an official.

Additional lorries will be engaged to facilitate more tanker trips if required. The water agency currently operates nearly 3,000 tanker trips to provide street supply.

“We also plan to sink 13 more borewells in the Neyveli aquifer and Poondi to draw 13 mld of groundwater,” said an official.

Besides sourcing water from Tamaraipakkam and other well fields, alternate arrangements are also being made to bring 55 mld of water from Neyveli and Paravanar river in Cuddalore district if supply from Veeranam tank is suspended for want of resources.

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