Tanks fill up, more water flows into taps

After 2016, more water is flowing into Chennai taps for the past few days because Chennai Metro Water has increased its supply to 830 million litres a day (mld) since November 25.

The agency plans to revert to the daily supply shortly as the Chembarambakkam, Red Hills and Poondi reservoirs are almost full to the brim.

Chennai’s households were previously supplied with 830 mld during 2016 after a bumper rain from the northeast monsoon in 2015. But the drought in the following year changed the situation, forcing the agency to resort to an alternate day supply. The supply was cut down to 470 mld in June 2017.

This year, however, a continuous supply of Krishna water, a good southwest monsoon and heavy rain during Cyclone Nivar have boosted the storage in the reservoirs.

The six waterbodies, including the newly created Thervoy Kandigai and the Veeranam tank, have a combined storage of 10 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) against their capacity of 13.2 tmc ft as on Saturday.

Senior Metro Water officials said Chennai could be supplied with a sufficient quantum of water through pipelines till the northeast monsoon next year. Water supply was steadily raised from 700 mld to 750 mld in early November and then to 830 mld.

“We are now drawing more surface water from reservoirs, including Veeranam, and keeping the other resources as buffers. Only about 20 mld is being drawn from the two desalination plants, and maintenance work is in progress at these facilities,” said an official.

As the rain and the inflow have receded, the Water Resources Department reduced the release from the Chembarambakkam and Poondi reservoirs on Saturday. “We are maintaining a discharge of 300 cusecs [cubic feet per second] from Chembarambakkam to have the level at 22 feet and some empty storage space. We are expecting some more inflow during a spell of rain next week,” said an official.

Though some amount of Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh is being diverted to the Thervoy Kandigai-Kannankottai reservoir, the one at Poondi continues to receive 430 cusecs of Krishna water, apart from the flow from the Kosasthalaiyar. “The flood water flow into the reservoir dropped to 2,763 cusecs on Saturday noon. So, we decided to release only 1,000 cusecs into the Kosasthalaiyar,” said the official.

The entire quantum released from Poondi is not draining into the sea. Nearly 486 cusecs is diverted to the Cholavaram lake downstream through the Tamaraipakkam check-dam.

“We want to maintain the same flow in the river courses. The Red Hills lake still has some storage space. If it receives another 10-12 cm of rain, the level will reach its maximum,” the official.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 6:08:57 PM |

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