Water Resources Department plans to request release of Krishna water for Chennai’s needs

Maintenance work on the Kandaleru-Poondi Canal will be put on hold.  

As water levels in the city’s reservoirs, which feed Chennai’s drinking water needs, have receded, the Water Resources Department plans to write to the Andhra Pradesh authorities in a few days, seeking release of Krishna water by the end of this month.

The five reservoirs, including the recently inaugurated reservoir formed by the combination of the Thervoy Kandigai and Kannankottai lakes, had a total storage of 8,146 million cubic feet of water as on Thursday. This is nearly 69% of their total capacity. Officials of the WRD said the present storage was sufficient to supply drinking water to Chennai until the onset of this year’s northeast monsoon.

“But we are planning to seek our share of Krishna water to refill the declining storage and save resources for next year. We plan to write to the Andhra Pradesh authorities next week, asking water from the Kandaleru reservoir by the end of May,” an official said.

This follows a request from Metrowater to step up storage in waterbodies, particularly the Poondi reservoir that now only has one-third of its storage capacity.

At present, water is transmitted from the Poondi reservoir to those at Chembarambakkam and Red Hills, from where drinking water is distributed to the city. Some reservoirs were also losing out on storage by 30-40 mcft daily by way of evaporation.

“A meeting needs to be convened with the Krishna River Management Board on the date and amount of water to be released from Kandaleru. We will have to discuss the modalities of the meeting owing to the pandemic,” an official said.

Improvement work on the vulnerable 4 km-stretch of the Kandaleru-Poondi Canal within Tamil Nadu limits will be stopped temporarily to facilitate the flow of Krishna water.

At present, Metrowater supplies nearly 830.82 million litres of water daily, including to industries and local bodies, around the city.

Residents of the core areas receive piped water supply daily and those in added areas get water on alternate days.

Krishna water made a significant contribution in stepping up storage in city reservoirs and also maintaining daily water supply over the past several months. Chennai has received nearly 8,158 mcft of Krishna water in two spells since May last year. This is one of the highest quantum of water released to the city since 2011-12, officials said.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 2:00:51 PM |

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