CHENNAI: With Karnataka recently releasing part of Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water, the water levels at Mettur dam located in Salem district, have increased considerably. In the wake of this, officials from the Public Works department, expect Veeranam lake, one of the main sources of drinking water for Chennai, to get more water from Mettur soon. This comes at a time when water levels at Veeranam lake are fast decreasing and can supply water to the city for the next 20 days.
If Chennai receives its usual spell of one Thousand Million Cubic Feet (Tmcft) from Veeranam, officials said that this will last comfortably for the next four months. “At present, the city is receiving water from mines, agriculture wells, quarries and lakes in the city. Combined with this, 0.2 Tmcft of water from Veeranam is needed to maintain the supply at 525 MLD. If we get more water, one spell will last for nearly four-five months,” said a senior Water Resource Department official.
Previously, the city used to receive a steady supply of 180 Million Litres a Day (MLD) from Veeranam lake. This came as a saviour as Veeranam was the only steady source of water supply to Chennai during severe water shortage. But as storage at the lake too started dwindling, supply was cut down to 80 MLD a month ago.
Currently, Veeranam stores only 102 Mcft of water, which will be exhausted in another 20 days.
Officials said that the chief minister is likely to arrange the release of one Tmcft of water from Veeranam, once water from Mettur reaches the lake.
“There is a very good chance that Chennai will get more water from Veeranam. For one Tmcft of water to reach Chennai, close to six Tmcft needs to be released from Veeranam. In a few days, officials concerned will have a discussion to facilitate the transfer of water once the chief minister gives the approval,” added the official.