Showers have led to increase in storage equal to 2 weeks’ drinking water supply

Heavy rains may have reduced many of the city roads to potholed stretches. But they have augmented the storage in the city reservoirs, which were in dire need of replenishment.

The water level in the four reservoirs - Red Hills, Cholavaram, Poondi and Chembarampakkam - has gone up by 444 million cubic feet (mcft) thanks to steady inflow from the catchment areas. This is equal to nearly two weeks of the city’s drinking water supply.

On Monday, the combined storage at the water bodies stood at 3,671 mcft. Officials of the Water Resources Department said that the rains have also helped in minimising the evaporation loss.

The reservoirs otherwise lose five mcft daily due to evaporation. “We will be able to store 200 more mcft of water in Cholavaram reservoir. Work to strengthen a weir, a structure constructed to let excess water flow into the Kosasthalaiyar river, will be completed in a week,” said an official.

This year, officials say that the reservoirs will be able to capitalise on the monsoon as they are only 33.2 per cent full. Last year, surplus water had to be released into the sea as the water bodies were nearly 80 per cent full.

The water body in Red Hills, which is also undergoing major repair works, would be filled up this season.

The reservoirs continue to receive a small but steady inflow of Krishna water too. Since July 1, Chennai has realised 2,700 mcft of Krishna water released from Kandaleru reservoir in Andhra Pradesh. This quantum is equal to nearly three months of water supplied now at a rate of 831 million litres a day.

The entry point of Kandaleru Poondi canal in the State at Uthukottai received about 200 cubic feet per second. Usually, 400-500 cusecs is realised in the canal. But this time, the damaged portion in the canal near Ubbalamadugu, Andhra Pradesh, had restricted the quantum of water flow in the canal.

“We will continue to receive Krishna water until the reservoirs get filled up,” said an official.

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