Residents of the city may enjoy drinking water through pipeline daily till the end of this year. The storage in the reservoirs which cater to the city’s needs, has remained the same for the past two months despite drawal every day. However, the amount of water in the reservoirs is much less compared to last year’s levels.
Considerable rains over the catchment areas of the four reservoirs in Red Hills, Poondi, Cholavaram and Chembarampakkam since August have been a saving grace in the water bodies and thus, the total storage at the four reservoirs has remained around 3,605 million cubic feet (mcft). This year, the storage at all the reservoirs is only 32.6 per cent of the total capacity as opposed to last year’s 73 per cent.
The fast-depleting resources in the water bodies and the growing needs of the city had caused concern among the officials of Water Resources Department and Chennai Metrowater. However, rains brought in much needed respite. The catchment areas of the reservoirs received over 104 cm of rain since August 1.
Officials of the Water Resources Department said every month, 1,000 mcft of water is drawn from the reservoirs to meet the needs of the expanded Chennai Corporation. Currently, nearly 831 million litres of water is provided daily.
The rainfall has also reduced loss of water due to evaporation by half in addition to ensuring run-off water from catchment areas. Normally, the water bodies lose up to five mcft every day.
The steady inflow of Krishna water released from Andhra Pradesh also augmented the storage level in the reservoirs. Rains and Krishna water have added over 1,000 mcft of water and helped maintain the same level, an official said.
“We recently stopped discharging water from Poondi reservoir to the one in Chembarampakkam as the water there is sufficient to supply southern parts of the city We want to maintain adequate space to fill the reservoir during the northeast monsoon,” the official said. For the past seven years, water had to be drained into the sea as the reservoirs became full. It is unlikely this year as there is ample storage space, he said.