Chennai residents suffering from water scarcity will have some respite

After nearly three months, water supply from the Krishna river to the city is all set to resume.

The much-awaited release of water from the Kandaleru reservoir took place on Monday evening.

Officials of the water resources department said that about 200 cubic feet per second (cusec) was released around 4 p.m.

The water will traverse a distance of 152 km in the Kandaleru Poondi canal and is expected to reach Uthukottai in Tiruvallur district, the entry point of the canal in Tamil Nadu, by Thursday or early on Friday.

The discharge of Krishna water was suspended in mid-April owing to damage to the canal at Ubbalamadugu near Varadapalayam. A temporary channel has been created since and the water will be diverted through it until repair work is completed by September.

“Initially, only a minimal amount of water will be released as a warning against allowing cattle in the canal bed. We expect the amount to be stepped up to 400 cusecs by Tuesday and finally, up to 1,000 cusecs. Chennai will receive about 500 cusecs. The rest of the water will be diverted to towns including Tirupathi to meet the requirements there” said an official.

In the aftermath of the repairs, department officials expect to receive more water as the temporary channel has the capacity to carry 1,000 cusecs. From Uthukottai, the water will then travel 25 km to reach Poondi reservoir from where it will be supplied to the city.

The 500 cusecs received throughout the day by Chennai will translate to about 1,200 mld. This will be sufficient to improve the water supply, said an official. Until a month ago, the city obtained about 831 mld of water from various sources.

At present, the four reservoirs in Poondi, Cholavaram, Chembarambakkam and Red Hills have a combined storage of 1,452 million cubic feet of water, which is less than 20 per cent of their capacity.

Chennai received 4.5 thousand million cubic feet of Krishna water between June last year and April this year.

On an average, one tmcft is drawn from reservoirs for supply every day and the water from the river helped in maintaining the storage for several months.

“We expect the discharge that has been resumed will boost the storage levels and also improve the drinking water supply to the city,” added the official.

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