Chennai

Rain not enough to top up reservoirs

Meagre storage: Heavy rainfall over the reservoirs did not translate into much inflow. A view of the Red Hills lake.   | Photo Credit: M.Vedhan

Heavy overnight rains in the areas around the city’s reservoirs has managed to bring only minimal inflow into the waterbodies that are significant for drinking water supply.

On Thursday, Cholavaram reservoir received the highest volume of 12 cm followed by Red Hills (11 cm). The waterbodies in Chembarambakkam and Poondi received 3 cm and 6 cm respectively.

Only 4 days supply

Officials of the Water Resources Department said the combined storage of the reservoirs stood at 1,697 million cubic feet (mcft) against the capacity of 11,257 mcft on Thursday evening. Though the waterbodies received inflow after many months, it is only equal to four days’ supply to Chennai.

“We need 10-15 cm of rainfall spread over two or three days for the lakes to get heavy inflow from catchment areas,” said an official. The four waterbodies received only light to moderate rainfall on Thursday. The existing resources would last only for two more months.

The overnight rain spell has helped in reducing the rainfall deficit from 60% to 45% in Chennai district. The city has so far recorded 31 cm against its seasonal share of 56 cm of rainfall since October 1.

Plea for Krishna water

The department has recently written to Andhra Pradesh government seeking release of Krishna water that was suspended in October end. “The AP authorities had earlier assured us that Krishna water discharge would be resumed by mid-November,” said an official.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department forecast moderate rains over the State to continue till Saturday.

The low pressure area has moved over interior Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

S. Balachandran, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, said the rainfall over coastal areas will begin to reduce from Friday as the system has moved inland. Madhavaram and Cholavaram received the highest volume of 12 cm during the past 24 hours till Thursday morning.

The Meteorological Department forecasts intermittent rains to continue on Friday and this may reduce to one or two spells of light rains on Saturday.

The intensity of rainfall may reduce drastically from Saturday, particularly in Chennai.

One or two places in north interior Tamil Nadu, including Vellore, Karur, Erode, Namakkal, Tiruppur and Salem may receive heavy to very heavy rainfall up to 24 cm on Friday.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 5:57:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/rain-not-enough-to-top-up-reservoirs/article25571624.ece

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