With the Veeranam tank beginning to receive Cauvery water through the Vadavar channel, the prospects for stable water supply in Chennai have brightened. On Friday morning, the tank recorded an inflow of 570 cusecs (cubic feet per second). Later in the day, the flow rose to 1,364 cusecs. The storage is around 153 million cubic feet (mcft) against a capacity of 1,465 mcft, according to an official of the Public Works Department (PWD).
In view of the poor storage of the tank, the drawal for Chennai was 26 cusecs, which was yielding around 60 million litres a day (mld). As the tank’s water level is bound to rise substantially in a week to 10 days, the drawal will also go up. Chennai Metrowater is keen on drawing at least 120 mld at the earliest, says an official of the water agency. It can go up to a maximum of 180 mld.
As for getting Krishna water in the light of the Srisailam dam overflowing, PWD and Metrowater officials say that it will take a few more weeks for Chennai to get its share. As per present calculations, residents will have to wait till mid-September. Water transfer has to be effected from Srisailam to Somasila first and then to Kandaleru, before flowing to Chennai through the 152-km-long Kandaleru-Poondi canal. The storage in both Somasila and Kandaleru is much below the point of drawal for transfer.
A fortnight ago, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami requested his counterpart, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, to release eight tmc ft of Krishna water for Chennai, to which the latter responded positively. On Friday morning, the storage in Somasila stood at 11.3 tmc ft and in Kandaleru at 3.8 tmc ft. The two reservoirs should have a minimum of 21.5 tmc ft and 6.4 tmc ft respectively. Somasila is receiving about 24,600 cusecs. If this trend continues, its storage will go up by 2 tmc ft. a day. The officials here say that it will take a minimum of 15 days for the authorities in A.P. to commence water release.