The storage in the reservoirs which cater to the city’s drinking water needs has steadily increased in the past 10 days.
Nearly 1.1 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) of water, sufficient to provide drinking water to Chennai for over a month, has augmented the storage since December 1. This has not only boosted the dwindling storage in the reservoirs but also temporarily averted the looming threat of water shortage in the city.
On Wednesday, the combined storage of the reservoirs — Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam — stood at 5.3 tmcft against their capacity of 11 tmcft. Heavy inflow from catchment areas following rains in the beginning of this month and an increase in the release of Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh are reasons behind the better storage levels.
The flow of Krishna water at Uthukottai, the inter-state limit of Kandaleru Poondi (KP) canal, trickled down last month as the Andhra Pradesh government had decreased the discharge from their reservoir.
However, the supply of Krishna water to the city was stepped up following requests from the State government. At present, the entry point of the KP canal in Tiruvallur district is receiving 240 cubic feet per second (cusecs). If the present flow of Krishna water is realised throughout a day, it would add nearly 25 million cubic feet in a day to the Poondi reservoir, said officials of the Water Resources Department (WRD).
While the rains have been a primary reason for the augmented storage, Krishna water has also helped to balance the amount drawn from the water bodies.
An official of the WRD said, “We are able to receive more Krishna water as illegal tapping in Andhra Pradesh limits has come down. The government of the neighbouring state has assured us that the supply would be continued for the next few months. We hope to tide over the water demand during summer with the available resources.”
Chennai Metrowater supplies about 830 million litres of water in a day to residents and commercial establishments. With the current storage levels in the city’s reservoirs and in the Veeranam tank in Cuddalore district, the daily water supply to the city could be sustained till the end of April.