Now at 104 mcft, more expected this week; contingency plan for summer also in place

Over the last four days, storage at the Poondi reservoir, which stores and supplies drinking water to the city, has gone up steadily due to a gradual increase in the volume of Krishna water received from Andhra Pradesh. On Thursday, the reservoir received nearly 75 cubic feet per second (cusecs) of Krishna water. At Uthukottai in Tiruvallur district, the entry point of the Kandaleru Poondi canal in the State, 93 cusecs were received.

Officials at the water resources department (WRD) said storage at the reservoir stood at 104 million cubic feet (mcft) on Thursday.

A WRD official said: “We expect Poondi to receive an inflow of 300-400 cusecs by the end of this week. Officials in Andhra Pradesh have assured us that they will step up release of Krishna water by 500 more cusecs over the next few days. At present, part of the 2,500 cusecs being released from the Kandaleru reservoir in Andhra Pradesh, is also being used for irrigation and drinking water needs in that State.”

However, Chennai Metrowater has prepared a contingency plan to meet the demand for water in the summer. Besides plans to draw more water from well fields as well as from the Veeranam tank, there are also plans to tap about 40 million litres a day (mld) of groundwater by hiring agricultural wells. Transporting water from distant areas such as Gummidipoondi, Bandikavanur and Chengalpattu via lorries and a proposal to tie up with Southern Railway to bring water from other parts as was done 2001, also form part of the contingency plan.

Metrowater has reduced water supply from 830 mld to 575 mld for eight months now, and water is only provided on alternate days. The WRD and Metrowater are both banking on Krishna water to step up storage in the city’s reservoirs and to resume daily water supply.

At present, Chennai Metrowater draws 20 mcft from the water bodies in Red Hills, Chembarambakkam and Poondi for city supply.

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