CHENNAI: For the first time since the formation of Chennai Metro Water Board in 1978, the water supply has touched 1,000 Million Litres per Day (MLD) on Friday. Copious inflow into the reservoirs due to good rainfall and the release of Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh are the major reasons for this, say officials.
On Friday, the five reservoirs (Chembarambakkam, Poondi, Red Hills, Cholavaram, and Thervoy Kandigai) together had a water storage level of 9.5 TMC (thousand million cubic feet). The reservoirs received good inflow during cyclone Nivar last year, and intermittent rains following that, till August. Notably, the combined water level of these reservoirs, last year was only 3.9 TMC.
The Metro Water Board has been gradually increasing the supply from 800 MLD for the past six months. On a trial run basis, the board is also supplying water to added areas along the Old Mahabalipuram Road, including Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Perungudi, Sholinganallur, and Karapakkam.
“We are checking the pipelines that we recently laid in the added areas. It is going good so far. This means, the added areas will continue to get water supply. The amount of water will soon be increased,” says a senior metro water official.
Due to adequate water reserve, water procurement from desalination plants has also decreased. According to official records, currently 80.18 MLD is being procured from Nemmeli plant and 78.45 MLD from Munjur plant. This is against the usual procurement of 170-189 MLD. Apart from the reservoirs and desalination plants, nearly 2 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of Krishna water was released and the number is expected to touch 3 TMC in a couple more months.
The Kandaleru reservoir in Nellore district in AP, which augments the drinking water supply to Chennai, had attained a record storage of 52.94 tmcft for the first time (in April 2020) since the launch of the Telugu Ganga canal system in 1996. That is why, Chennai will receive its full quota of water from the neighbouring State.
Metro Water has plans to further increase the supply according to the demand, but officials say they have two concerns. “There are several leaks in underground pipes. We are slowly mending them. If more water is released, the pipes may not have the capacity and a lot of water may go waste,” says an official.
Another concern is negligence on the part of the public. “If we give water all through the day, public may start wasting it. We will first focus on providing water to added areas and then increase supply in the city,” he adds.
Current water supply to city 1,000 MLD
Total requirement 1,200 MLD
Supply in March 810 MLD