Supply from Kandaleru reservoir to be sustained for a few months

The deadline for release of Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh has been pushed yet again. However, the Water Resources Department (WRD) is confident that the water will be discharged from Kandaleru reservoir by July 1 or 2.

The release of the water from the neighbouring State is crucial now as the storage in the city’s reservoirs has dipped to an alarmingly low level. Residents of several parts of the city have been feeling the pinch as piped water supply has dwindled.

Krishna water supply to the city was stopped in mid-April to facilitate repair work on the damaged portion of the Kandaleru Poondi canal at Ubbalamadugu in Andhra Pradesh. On Tuesday, a team of officials from WRD visited Ubbalamadugu, located 100 km away from the city, to inspect the progress of the work and discuss the prospects of speedy release of Krishna water.

“We expect to receive 500 cubic feet of Krishna water per second (cusec). We may lose 20 per cent of water because of evaporation. Even if we get 400 cusecs, we will be able to manage the drinking water supply,” said an official. One cusec of water is equal to nearly 2.5 million litres a day.

Officials of the WRD said the city’s four reservoirs in Red Hills, Cholavaram, Chembarambakkam and Poondi have 15 per cent of the total storage of 11 thousand million cubic feet (mcft). With the available resources, the city would receive supply for one or two months.

The dry portions of the reservoir in Red Hills, which now has a storage of only 545 mcft against its capacity of 3,300 mcft, is being used as a makeshift playground by children from the neighbourhood and place to dry clothes.

Usually, Chennai is supplied with 830 mld through pipelines and tankers. However, several areas in the city have been getting piped water supply on alternate days for the past one month due to a lack of the resource. Chennai now largely depends on the two desalination plants and well-fields for its drinking water needs. Chennai Metrowater has also increased its tanker supply from 2,200 trips to 2,600 every day to meet the needs of the city.

Officials of the WRD said the Krishna water is likely to reach Uthukottai, the inter-state border of Kandaleru Poondi canal, by next weekend. The supply is expected to be sustained for a few months as Kandaleru reservoir has sufficient storage. This would help revive everyday piped water supply, the officials said.

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