Heavy rains over the weekend brought copious inflows into the four major water bodies that cater to the drinking water requirements of Chennai.
Though the rains had reduced by Monday morning, the reservoirs are continuing to receive a steady inflow from their catchment areas. The combined storage in the four city reservoirs stood at 4,091 million cubic feet against their capacity of 11,257 mcft. Last year on the same day, the lakes had a total storage of only 1,694 mcft.
Officials of Water Resources Department said nearly 806 mcft of water was added to the storage of the reservoirs in the past two days. The storage in the water bodies has gone up by 10% due to the heavy rain spell.
Three water bodies in Red Hills, Chembarambakkam, and Poondi are receiving a heavy inflow of about 2,000 cusecs (cubic feet per second). As inflows continue, officials are confident of a further rise in storage.
During the past 24 hours ending 6 a.m. on Monday, Cholavaram lake recorded the highest rainfall of 10 cm among the four lakes. While Chembarambakkam lake recorded 9 cm of rains, the lakes in Red Hills and Poondi also received heavy rains of 8 cm and 7 cm respectively.
Rains that pounded the neighbourhood of Chembarambakkam lake brought in considerable inflow into the otherwise parched water body. It now has almost one-third of its storage capacity. However, residents have demanded that vegetation in portions of the lake be cleared to facilitate quicker and smooth flow of water.
The lake in Poondi continues to receive Krishna water apart from rain water through the Kosasthalaiyar river. On Monday, it received an inflow of 543 cusecs of Krishna water. In the past two months, the State’s border of Kandaleru Poondi canal in Uthukottai, Tiruvallur, has received 2,492 million cubic feet of Krishna water, which has helped maintain storage in the lakes and also boost drinking water supply to 650 million litres a day.
Officials note that the storage in the three reservoirs has touched nearly 36% of their capacity. “We expect the next few rain spells in December to fill the reservoirs. We need an additional storage of a minimum of 2,000 mcft of water in reservoirs for comfortable city water supply in the coming year,” said an official. The available storage in the four reservoirs would help sustain the current water supply for at least six months.
Moreover, the Veeranam tank, Cuddalore district, which is brimming with water and has a storage of 1,124 mcft against its capacity of 1,465 mcft, would augment water supply to the city. About 180 mld of water is now being drawn from the Veeranam tank.