CHENNAI: Krishna’s water supply to Chennai remains as elusive as ever, as it will take 10-15 days for the city to start receiving its share, said officials from the Water Resource Department (WRD).Though the two main reservoirs across Krishna river in Andhra Pradesh, Srisailam and Somasila, have crossed the mark of transferrable water levels, the third reservoir, Kandaleru is still not full. As on Wednesday, Kandaleru had stored 3.6 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) of water while 6.4 tmcft is needed to transfer water to the city.
Officials said 6,000 cusecs of water is currently being routed from Somasila to Kandaleru reservoir.”With this flow, it will take 10 days for Kandelaru to receive five tmcft. Only after that, water will be released to reach the zero point at Uthukottai. We are in constant touch with our counterparts in the Andhra Pradesh government. They have promised to give us water at least by October first week,” said a senior WRD official.
As per the Telugu Ganga project signed in the 1980s between Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the latter is mandated to provide 12 tmcft in a year, to meet Chennai’s drinking water needs. This water is stored in Poondi and Red Hills reservoir after crossing the zero point at Uthukottai.
Between July and October, the city is supposed to receive eight tmcft of water and the remaining four tmcft between January and April. But due to poor storage levels in their reservoirs, Chennai’s share is yet to be fulfilled. The last spell of four tmcft also was not fully given as Kandaleru reservoir had gone dry in February.
If the city receives six to eight tmcft of water, it can comfortably manage its water needs even if the north-east monsoon fails. Ever since all four reservoirs went bone dry six months ago, the city has been completely dependent on secondary sources of water. This includes groundwater from Neyveli mines and wells, from agriculture wells, reduced quantity of Veeranam water, from abandoned quarries and lakes and two desalination plants.
If the city receives six to eight tmcft of water, it can comfortably manage its water needs even if the north-east monsoon fails