Metrowater to boost supply in city as rain ends scarcity

Reservoirs getting a daily inflow of about 1,000 cusecs; water supply stepped up to 600 mld; number of lorry trips comes down from 7,000 to 4,860

Updated - November 07, 2017 08:00 am IST

Published - November 07, 2017 01:00 am IST - Chennai

CHENNAI, 06/11/2017 : For City : The Sholavaram Lake near Chennai getting filled up due to heavy North East Monsoon rain in the catchment areas. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

CHENNAI, 06/11/2017 : For City : The Sholavaram Lake near Chennai getting filled up due to heavy North East Monsoon rain in the catchment areas. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Households in Chennai may soon receive daily supply of water through pipelines, thanks to the northeast monsoon. With the rain steadily boosting the storage in city reservoirs, the Chennai Metrowater has increased water supply to 600 million litres a day, on Monday.

Though the northeast monsoon has brought intense spells of rain since early this month, the reservoirs in Chembarambakkam, Poondi, Sholavaram and Red Hills currently have only a storage of 3,185 million cubic feet (mcft) against the total capacity of 11,057 mcft. But, this is enough to reduce the water scarcity in the city for now.

All the reservoirs have been getting a steady inflow of about 1,000 cusecs.

No drawal from quarries

Metrowater has stopped drawing from agricultural wells it hired in Tiruvallur district and abandoned quarries in Sikkarayapuram, as water has started flowing into the lakes. The water supply has been stepped up from 450 mld until a few days ago to 600 mld now.

Chennai gets its water from multiple sources, including Metrowater-owned well fields in Tamaraipakkam and Panchetti and two desalination plants, besides ground water. The four reservoirs contribute to about 60% of the water sources. Metrowater balances its drawal from different sources depending on the availability.

“We continue to draw 4 mld from the Porur lake as it would reduce flooding in the neighbourhood if the lake overflows. The number of lorry trips has also come down from 7,000 to 4,860 trips daily as on Monday,” said an official.

Piped water supply is slowly being resumed in several areas of the city. However, it may take a few days for the daily piped water supply to be resumed completely.

Officials of the Metrowater said groundwater drawal has been stopped and nearly 15 mcft is being drawn from the reservoirs daily.

The water agency is also waiting to draw water from Veeranam tank, which now has a storage of nearly 900 mcft.

Once the concurrence from the State government is obtained, about 180 mld, the usual quota for the city would be pumped into the pipeline from Cuddalore district to Chennai, said officials.

Kosasthalaiyar breaches

Meanwhile, the flood bank of Kosasthalaiyar river near Karanodai breached on Monday for a distance of 10 metres.

Officials of the Water Resources Department said private land owners along the flood bank had heightened their lands meant for irrigation, which is almost at the same level of the flood bank. This led to the loosening of sand, and water from the river spilled over on to 250 acres of land. “We are placing sand bags to control soil erosion. The water flow is minimal in the river. But the soil erosion led to the spillover to the irrigation land,” an official said.

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