The lean monsoon last year has forced Chennai Metro Water to come up with a contingency plan to ensure that the city’s thirst is quenched during the summer. The reservoirs supplying water to the city have only 3,142 million cubic feet (mcft) of water when compared to 4,836 mcft they stored during the same period last year. Metro Water officials said that the task might be challenging but all systems were in place to help the city withstand the summer.
The main focus is on tapping ground water resources by drilling additional borewells and hiring more agricultural wells. “There is a proposal to hire 250 private agricultural borewells at Poondi, Tamaraipakkam and Minjur well fields this year at a cost of `14 crore,” said a Metro Water official. Three borewells will be dug deeper in Tamaraipakkam so as to extract additional 3 million litres of water per day (MLD) at an estimated cost of `75 lakh.
Meanwhile, Metro Water has chalked out plans to utilise the dead storage of 57 mcft from the Sholavaram lake once it dries up – the water would be pumped out to Baby Canal by pumpsets. Similarly, Redhills lake’s dead storage of 275 mcft would also be pumped into the intake tower of 300 MLD plant. The work might be taken up only if needed in July 2014, said a Metro water source.
Plans are also afoot to recondition 16 of the 35 existing borewells in the Paravanar and Gadilam side of the Neyveli acquifer, in addition to repairing the pumpsets at an estimated cost of `1.15 crore to extract eight MLD of water per day.