Poondi reservoir stopped receiving water almost 10 days ago

Krishna water, which could be a solution to growing concerns of depleting drinking water resources this summer, will be released again to Chennai from next week. The Poondi reservoir that stores Krishna water discharged from the Kandaleru reservoir in Andhra Pradesh stopped receiving inflow completely nearly 10 days ago. The reason cited then was that the volume of Krishna water released from the reservoir was reduced as allocation for irrigation in the State was over.

Following a request from the Tamil Nadu government, Andhra Pradesh officials have promised to step up the release to augment the city’s drinking water needs.

A team of officials from the Water Resources and Municipal Administration and Water Supply departments had visited the neighbouring state two days ago.

Sources in WRD said the team had elaborated on the significance of Krishna water to the city’s water needs in summer. As the Kandaleru reservoir has sufficient storage of 23.43 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft), the city will be provided with its share of Krishna water from next week.

“We expect to receive water from Andhra Pradesh by next weekend. Initially, about 500 cubic feet per second (cusecs) will be released. The officials there have assured that they will step up the volume of discharge to 1,500 cusecs by April 1. This will mean that Poondi reservoir will receive a minimum of 800 cusecs,” said an official.

About 300-350 cusecs would be needed to maintain the drinking water supply to the city. Currently, Chennai is supplied with 585 million litres a day on alternate days.

The steady inflow of Krishna water is expected to help Chennai tide over water shortage in summer months and also, stabilise the storage in the city’s reservoirs.

Since January, Chennai has received close to 1.8 tmcft of Krishna water. This is equal to two months of water supply.