It was released from Kandaleru reservoir last Sunday
The current year's initial flows of Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh to Tamil Nadu are expected by Saturday evening or Sunday morning.
The water, released from the Kandaleru reservoir on Sunday last, touched the 90-km-point of the 152-km-long Kandaleru-Poondi Canal on Thursday evening, according to an official of the Water Resources Department (WRD). As of now, the authorities in Andhra Pradesh are releasing 500 cubic feet per second (cusecs) from Kandaleru, the terminal storage point in the neighbouring State under the Telugu Ganga Project.
They are expected to step up the rate of discharge shortly. The carrying capacity of the Canal is 1,000 cusecs, according to a senior official of the department.
Given the present storage of Chennai reservoirs, at least four more thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) can be stored. As on date, the combined storage of Chembarampakkam, Sholavaram, Red Hills and Satyamurti Sagar in Poondi was 4.96 tmc ft against the total capacity of 11.057 tmc ft.
As the highest quantity of eight tmc ft was realised last year since 1996 when the State received Krishna water for the first time, WRD officials are hopeful of getting an equally good amount of water. This is based on the fact that Kandaleru has a storage capacity of around 33 tmc ft. The supply is likely to go on for at least for four-five months. Last year, it was between June 23, 2011 and November 10, 2011.
As per the 1983 agreement between Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu is to receive a net quantity of 12 tmc ft in two spells (four tmc ft during January-April and eight tmc ft during July-October) in a year. The authorities have not been able to stick to the schedule due to a variety of reasons, mainly operational issues.
The availability of Krishna water has come handy to Chennai Metrowater, which has increased the quantum of water supplied to people of the city substantially in the last 15 years. There were years when Metrowater found it difficult to maintain 200 million litres a day (MLD). Today, it is providing, on an average, 830 MLD.
A WRD official says that the government has sanctioned Rs. 4.75 crore towards repair on the Tamil Nadu side of the KP Canal, about 25 km. Some works have been carried out and more will be taken up after supply through the Canal is stopped.