A significant increase in the storage at the four reservoirs has helped Chennai Metrowater to step up the drinking water supply, a move that is expected to benefit thousands of households, particularly those in north Chennai.
From 786 million litres a day (mld), the supply was increased to 795 mld a few days ago as the reservoirs received good rainfall, officials of Metrowater said. The water agency has also reduced drawal from the Veeranam tank, which used to supplement the supply.
For the city supply, nearly 380 mld is being drawn from Red Hills reservoir and about 260 mld from Chembarampakkam reservoir. Well fields in Minjur and Poondi reservoir are tapped for the remaining 155 mld.
The possibility of the supply being further increased looks imminent as the Chembarampakkam reservoir is also filling up fast owing to rain. The Poondi and Red Hills reservoirs have almost reached their full level.
On Monday, the water level at Chembarampakkam was 20.42 feet against its full level of 22 feet. Officials of the Water Resources Department said that it receives an inflow of nearly 210 cubic feet per second (cusecs). However, a large volume is being taken for city supply.
“We will step up storage till the water level reaches 21 feet. If the inflow increases, we may have to discharge water in a few days,” said an official. The WRD opened the second shutter in Red Hills reservoir on Sunday. Nearly 400 cusecs is being released from two vents and the water level is 20.44 ft against the full level of 21.2 ft.
As there are fluctuations in the inflow, the water discharge has been increased. Both the vents had to be opened to prevent currents and bund erosion, the official said.
One of the main reasons for the water bodies filling up to their capacity is the copious supply of Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh. The project has touched a significant milestone as nearly 7.57 thousand million cubic feet has been realised for the spell between July and October. This is the highest volume received since the launch of the project in 1996, said an official.
“We are expecting the water release from Kandaleru reservoir to be stopped in one or two days. Nearly 58 tmcft has been received so far under the project,” said an official.
Meanwhile, the Meteorological department announced that a new trough of low pressure extending from Sri Lanka to north Tamil Nadu coast across Southwest Bay may bring more rainfall.
On Monday, while Nungambakkam received 5 mm, the observatory in Meenambakkam recorded less than 1 mm of rainfall between 8.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. The city may receive a few spells of rain or thundershower, heavy in some areas, in the next few days.
Keywords: Chennai drinking water supply