If the supersized Chennai of 2026 is to have enough water for its people, Chennai Metrowater needs to find an additional 300 million litres a day.

But, A. L. Radhakrishnan, Superintending Engineer, Metrowater is confident that in the backdrop of Chennai's Second Master Plan, the board can work towards bridging this gap.

He was speaking at a seminar on the northeast monsoon organised here on Thursday by the Regional Meteorological Centre. The water demand projections were based on the expanding population and the proposed expansion of the Chennai Corporation.

Mr.Radhakrishnan said that sustainable yields of water were dependent on the northeast monsoon and that he expected that the supply gap would be filled with rainwater harvesting, desalination, recycling and schemes to bring water from the Cauvery and Krishna rivers. He also said that with good monsoons for the past five years the demand for water supply for 2011 would be safely met.

The overall performance of the north east monsoon last year was normal although it came and left a week later than expected, said Y.E.A. Raj, Deputy Director General of Meteorology.

A typhoon in South China that drew storms away from the Bay of Bengal in October was partly responsible for the lack of rain in October, S.R. Ramanan, Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, Chennai explained.

While coastal areas received good rain up to December, six districts in interior Tamil Nadu were deficient.

Overall, States receiving the north east monsoon did much better that those of the south west monsoon, for which 2009 was declared an all-India drought year, he added.

The Regional Meteorological Centre organised the seminar as part of the National Science Day 2010. It also opened its office, meteorological observatory and the Cyclone Detection Radar Station to the public and students for the day.

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