CHENNAI: Even though the December floods left the city’s water reservoirs comfortably placed to face the summer, officials are now worried that the unusually hot summer was leading to evaporation of 10 per cent more water from the reservoirs. Usually 20 per cent of stored water is lost to evaporation, but this year with much higher temperatures anticipated in summer, about 30 per cent of stored water will be lost to evaporation, say Water Resources Department (WRD) officials.
A WRD official said the city had nearly 7 tmc (thousand million cubic) feet of water in its reservoirs which could last the next five months. This is about 65 per cent of the 11 tmcft storage capacity of the four major reservoirs. Last year at this time, the city had only 2.7 tmcft. “Usually, the city requires 1 tmcft of water a month. Considering the evaporation loss, the stored water could last the next five months,” said an official. While it means the city may not face a water crisis like it did in the last two years, the heat would also mean increase in demand.