Rainfall in catchment areas boosts volume by about a weeks’ supply for city

Water level at the Poondi reservoir has increased over the past weekend, and this means a boost to the water supply position for the city.

While the city has been having only isolated showers, rainfall in the catchment areas of the reservoir has ensured water level at Poondi has increased.

All this thanks to one day of heavy rainfall, on Saturday. The storage at the water body has increased by about a weeks’ supply for Chennai.

This has come as a respite when the storage of the water body is fast depleting, according to an official of the Water Resources Department.

Among the four reservoirs, including in Red Hills, Cholavaram and Chembarambakkam, the catchment areas of Poondi received the highest amount of rainfall of nearly 7 cm on Saturday.

Following this, the reservoir received a steady inflow of nearly 520 cubic feet per second (cusecs) on Wednesday. (One cusec is equal to 28.3 litres).

The official said nearly 230 million cubic feet of water has been added to the reservoirs, largely to the one in Poondi. Moreover, Krishna water supply, which dwindled due to turmoil in Andhra Pradesh on the Telangana issue, has also improved this week.

Nearly 600 cusecs of Krishna water are being released from Kandaleru reservoir in Andhra Pradesh.

But, Uthukottai in Tiruvallur district, Tamil Nadu’s entry point of the Kandaleru-Poondi canal, is receiving only about 100 cusecs of water. Illegal tapping of water enroute, in Andhra Pradesh, and ongoing repair work of the canal at Ubbalamadugu near Tada has led to the dip in Krishna water supply, the official said.

Once the work to repair the canal is completed in a month, the department expects the supply to improve. Poondi reservoir has so far received nearly 1.36 thousand million cubic feet of Krishna water since July.

This has helped Chennai Metrowater maintain the drinking water supply at a rate of 550 million litres a day (mld) on alternate days, said the official.

About 200 mld is drawn from the reservoirs daily. “We will be able to manage the water supply till January with the available resources,” said the official.

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