The city may just be able to tide over a looming water crisis this summer, as the storage in the reservoirs has been steadily rising over the past few days. Poondi reservoir, one of the prime storage points for drinking water, has been receiving stable inflow of Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh, for the past one week.
A visit to the reservoir in Tiruvallur district revealed that the once-parched portions on the lake bed are now covered by sheets of water gushing in from the Kandaleru Poondi canal.
On Thursday, about 530 cubic feet per second (cusecs) of Krishna water flowed into Poondi reservoir. As the storage now stands at nearly 600 million cubic feet (mcft) against its capacity of 3, 231 mcft, the reservoir attracts many tourists from neighbouring areas, particularly during weekends.
Officials at the Water Resources Department said several people visit the area to enjoy the serene atmosphere and watch the birds.
Krishna water has helped increase the reservoir’s storage by over 500 mcft in the past one month.
“We have received 1,200 mcft of Krishna water since January 10. This is equal to nearly 45 days of drinking water supply to the city,” said an official.
Most of the inflow received daily is transferred to other reservoirs at Red Hills and Chembarambakkam through link canal from Poondi, to facilitate treatment and distribution of drinking water to the city.
However, Chennai Metrowater plans to wait for a few months before resuming daily water supply. Since last May, the city has been making do with about 600 million litres a day on alternate days. This would be continued without any hassles this summer with available resources in city reservoirs and supply from Veeranam tank in Cuddalore district, officials added.
If the same volume of Krishna water is received daily, the reservoirs would get filled up in five or six months. Chennai Metrowater, which already has contingency plans in place to meet the water demand, plans to continue with alternate day supply till the water level in the reservoirs reaches a comfortable position of 8,000 mcft, against the capacity of 11,000 tmcft. On Thursday, the total storage of four reservoirs stood at 3,532 mcft.