Chennai

City pins all its hopes on Krishna water

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Release from AP to begin next month; officials say this will help tide over mounting crisis

There may just be light at the end of the tunnel for the city’s households, currently reeling under a severe water shortage.

The Water Resources Department (WRD) is pinning its hopes on the release of Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh in mid-June to tide over the crisis in the city.

Krishna water, released from Kandaleru reservoir, is crucial for Chennaiites, particularly at a time when the city’s four reservoirs have only 20 per cent of their total storage capacity.

Last year too, water discharge from the neighbouring state saved the city from scarcity for over nine months, when rains failed.

By mid-June, the city will get 300-400 cubic feet of water per second (cusec). One cusec is 28.3 litres of water flowing every second. If the volume of Krishna water promised to the city is released, Chennai will have enough daily water supply to meet its present needs, WRD officials said.

At present, the Kandaleru reservoir has 12.77 tmcft of water. “We can draw nearly 5 tmcft, after which the reservoir will hit its dead storage limit,” said an official.

The release of Krishna water to the city was suspended last month, to repair the damaged portion of the Kandaleru-Poondi canal in Ubbalamadugu, Andhra Pradesh. From last June, when supply began, until last month, nearly 4.7 thousand million cubic feet of water (tmcft) had been provided. This went a long way in helping maintain storage in the city’s reservoirs for several months, officials said.

Sources at WRD said that work is on at a fast pace to make temporary arrangement to bring in the water as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, authorities are drawing every last drop they can from the city’s reservoirs, to ensure drinking water supply to residents. WRD officials said the reservoirs in Poondi, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam had only enough to contribute to drinking water supply until the end of July. Krishna water, and rains in June, they said would hopefully help with the shortage.

Chennai Metrowater is also pumping out water from the Cholavaram reservoir, which has already hit its dead storage limit. About 10 million cubic feet of water available in the parched water body is being drawn using pumps and diverted to the Red Hills reservoir.

“We did not want to waste even the little water available. The reservoirs are losing five million cubic feet of water per day due to the harsh sun,” said an official. Even this exercise is set to end in a few days, once Cholavaram is rendered bone dry.

The last time storage in all four water bodies dipped drastically, was in 2004.

Residents of several areas are already encountering problems of dwindling water supply or receive water only once in two days.

“I’m waiting for the supply to resume after two days. I had to manage with the little water available in my sump as well as packaged drinking water. If the authorities tell us when piped water supply will be provided, we can at least store some for future use,” said S. Rani, a resident of Gandhi Nagar, Adyar.



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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 10:17:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/city-pins-all-its-hopes-on-krishna-water/article4763696.ece

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