Chennai

Chennai no longer water starved: Metrowater

A view of the Red Hills reservoir, the main source of drinking water to Chennai city. Lakes and reservoirs are slowly filling up due to north east monsoon rains.

A view of the Red Hills reservoir, the main source of drinking water to Chennai city. Lakes and reservoirs are slowly filling up due to north east monsoon rains.   | Photo Credit: B_JOTHI RAMALINGAM

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Storage comfortable to sustain supply for six months, says water agency

With the storage in city’s major lakes steadily increasing, Chennai Metrowater on Tuesday announced that the city is no longer reeling under water crisis.

Chennai is officially out of water shortage, the water agency tweeted from its official handle.

Senior officials of Metrowater said the five major waterbodies, including those in Poondi, Red Hills and Veeranam tank, have a storage of 4,026 million cubic feet (mcft) against the combined storage of 12,722 mcft. Poondi reservoir continues to receive Krishna water.

The water agency had earlier used buffer sources, including agricultural wells and water from Jolarpet through train, to manage the acute crisis. It is now shifting to conventional sources of supply mainly from waterbodies and has stopped drawing groundwater from agricultural wells.

Rains and Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh have stepped up the storage in the otherwise dry lakes in the city. Officials of the Water Resources Department (WRD) said rains in October has brought inflow into Cholavaram reservoir. About 100 cubic feet per second of water is being diverted to Red Hills to enable drawal and water supply and the discharge would be increased in a few days.

While Metrowater considers this as comfortable to sustain supply for six months, the WRD officials note that a storage of minimum of 5,000 mcft would help maintain comfortable water position.

The inflow of Krishna water has dipped to 300 cusecs at the entry point of the Kandaleru Poondi canal. The Department is planning to request the Andhra Pradesh government to continue supply through the monsoon to manage the city’s water supply.

Groundwater level up

The rains have not only raised storage in the lakes but also increased groundwater level across the city. This led to increase in daily water supply from 525 million litres a day to 650 mld now.

The dependence on tanker supply has also reduced. “We have stopped plying 2 kl and 3 kl capacity vehicles that used to supply water from November 1. The number of lorry trips has come down from nearly 12,300 trips during drought to 7,700 trips daily now,” said an official.

More streets are covered with water supply now and only 3,125 streets still are not supplied with water, the official said. For instance, nearly 691 streets did not have piped water supply in Anna Nagar during drought. Now, it has been reduced to 160 streets. In Zone 9 (Teynampet), the number of streets that did not have water supply has dipped from 654 to 437. Soon, more areas in core city would get piped water supply.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 8:04:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/city-no-longer-water-starved-metrowater/article29892795.ece

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