Discharge from Kandaleru reservoir has reduced of late; lack of rain worsens situation in city

Lack of rain coupled with poor flow from Kandaleru reservoir in Andhra Pradesh has put a strain on the city’s reservoirs.

The Water Resources Department (WRD) has requested the neighbouring government to step up discharge of Krishna water and also maintain the supply for a few more months.

Water from Kandaleru reservoir is imperative for Chennai currently since the city’s four v do not have sufficient quantities.

The reservoirs in Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam have 4.4 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) of water, which is just 40.4 per cent of its storage capacity. Last year, the reservoirs were nearly 80 per cent full during this time of the year.

Only 100 cubic feet per second (cusec) of Krishna water has been flowing into the city for the past few days. One cusec is 28.3 litres.

So far, the entry point of Kandaleru-Poondi canal in Uthukottai, Tiruvallur district, has received 3.12 tmcft of water since mid-June when water was released.

This quantity is equivalent to the city’s drinking water needs for three months.

“We need an inflow of at least 300-400 cusecs to cater to the city. We have asked Andhra Pradesh to increase discharge so we may receive 200-300 cusecs in Poondi reservoir (which stores Krishna water),” a WRD official said.

About 50 cusecs is lost every day owing to illegal tapping of water from the canal in Andhra Pradesh limits.

Though the Kandaleru-Poondi canal can carry nearly 1,000 cusecs, the State’s border receives much less because of a damaged portion in the canal at Uppalamadugu near Varadapalayam in Andhra Pradesh limits.

Because of this, water is diverted through a temporary arrangement of pipelines with limited carrying capacity. Officials said the Andhra Pradesh government was in the process of repairing the damage. But, it would take a few months.

Metrowater, however, is confident of maintaining the present supply of 831 million litres a day to the city. An official said water from Veeranam tank in Cuddalore district was also drawn for the city’s supply.

A few more spells are expected before the northeast monsoon withdraws. This would increase the water levels in the reservoirs, the official said.

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