Though the onset of northeast monsoon is still a month away, the water level at Poondi reservoir has already reached the brim. In a bid to stock resources, one of the shutters was opened on Thursday to transfer water to Cholavaram reservoir.
The level at the reservoir has shot up to 34.75 feet, just a little lower than the full capacity. The Water Resources Department discharged 400 cubic feet per second (cusecs) around 9 a.m. into the Kosasthalaiyar River as the storage was 3,077 million cubic feet (mcft), which is only 154 mcft short of its capacity. Tiruvallur Collector Ashish Chatterjee was present when the shutter was opened.
The water will travel 32 km via Tamaraipakkam to reach Cholavaram reservoir, which was earlier kept empty to facilitate desilting works.
Officials of the WRD said that normally, the water body at Poondi filled up during November or December. It is quite unusual for the storage to reach its maximum level in September. Persistent rainfall and steady inflow of Krishna water had contributed to the sustained resources in the water bodies.
The reservoir at Poondi is receiving 713 cusecs of Krishna water being released from the Kandaleru reservoir in Andhra Pradesh. (One cusec would yield 28.3 litres). In order to save resources, water is being diverted to Cholavaram reservoir with a capacity of 881 mcft. It would take about a month for the reservoir in Cholavaram to fill up.
The other reservoirs also have substantial storage. The combined storage of the four reservoirs, including those at Red Hills and Chembarampakkam, stood at 8,918 mcft against the capacity of 11,057 mcft. Last year, their storage was only 4,611 mcft during the same period.
The Krishna water supply project has also hit a significant milestone as the city has already received 6,100 mcft for this spell since the release in June. This is the first time that the Chennai has received such high volume since the inception of the project in 1996.
According to the agreement between Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, Chennai must be provided with 8,000 mcft of water between July and October. Officials of the WRD said that the city has realised nearly 56,000 mcft of Krishna water since 1996.
The volume of water received from the neighbouring state is bound to go up as Kandaleru reservoir has sufficient storage.
The entry point of Kandaleru Poondi canal at Uthukottai received about 800 cusecs.
On an average, 30 mcft is drawn from the water bodies in the fringes to supply the city daily. The reservoirs have a comfortable storage to sustain supply for a year, the officials added.