No normal water supply in Chennai


Chennai: Chennaiites beware! Dare not use water ‘lavishly’ assuming that the dog days are long gone and the recent spells of rain have enriched the city’s water resources.
Despite Krishna water ‘trickling’ into the city, the water managers suspect that they would not be able to increase the supply from the existing 550 mld to the regular 830 mld at least for another three months.
DC has learnt from reliable government sources that another 3 tmcft cushion would be required to restore ‘normal’ water supply under the present circumstance with the four city reservoirs only storing 1.1 tmcft. In simple terms, ‘alternated’ water supply would continue till reservoirs’ storage increases to 4 tmcft.
A turnover would be improbable unless heavy downpour in the catchments brings copious inflow to the reservoirs, a distant reality thus far. For once the water managers are not to be blamed, as the recent ‘continual’ rainfall had only wetted the city, while reservoir catchme­nts remain largely underfed.
Chembarambakkam, Cholavaram, Poondi and Puzhal reservoirs have only received around 0.3 tcmft so far. The same reservoirs had received 1.2 tcmft during this season the year before last.
Monday was a welcome exception with Chembar­ambakkam receiving 219 cusecs, while Poondi and Red Hills recorded 75 and 48 cusecs.  Poondi lake received about 160 cusecs of Krishna water on Tuesday, against last week’s 80 mld.
Though Andhra Pradesh promised up to 1,000 cusecs discharge from Kandaleru, outflow was reduced owing to a breach in the temporary canal at Ubbala­madagu in Andhra Pradesh for a second time last week.
“It would be sufficient if Andhra Pradesh maintains 200cusecs discharge for the next three months. That would help stabilise the storage and ensure the existing supply till mid-October.
If the rain fills the reservoirs, that would be bonus,” a metro water senior opined, adding that the existing 1.1 tmcft would roughly last for another month and supply from Kandaleru plus Nemmeli and Minjur desalination plants would help sustain the ‘alternated’ supply at the present 550 mld rate till mid-October when the northeast monsoon would set in.

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