With monsoon not showing signs of withdrawal, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has pointed out that this is the longest recorded delayed withdrawal of southwest monsoon.
The country has received 10 per cent more rainfall than normal. IMD further said the South Peninsula division comprising Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar islands and the Lakshadweep islands has recorded 16 per cent more rainfall.
The onset of southwest monsoon was delayed this time, but the extended season brought surplus rainfall and floods in many parts of the country. Besides, there has been loss of lives and crop damage in several states.
Just three months ago, water situation was so grim in Chennai that the state government had to roll out 50 water wagons from Jolarpet station to CMWSSB’s filling point in Villivakkam. After treatment, water was distributed to residents. Several crores of litres of water have been dispatched to the water-starved capital since July. Besides, water drawn from quarries helped augment supply to Chennaiites.
Northeast monsoon, which usually brings almost 70 per cent of Chennai's annual rainfall, has failed for the last few years leaving four reservoirs in the city almost bone dry. However, rains in the last three months, particularly in September, along with arrival of Krishna water from AP, have improved reservoir levels and groundwater table in Chennai.
Chennai's acute water crisis made the government and residents realize the importance of rainwater harvesting facilities.
Awareness drives, special committees comprising government officials and expert support helped in restoring old RWH structures in houses and other buildings.
Several apartments and gated communities on OMR, 200 feet radial road and suburbs have withdrawn water rationing as groundwater levels have improved and metro/private tankers have enhanced their supplies.
During 2018 NE monsoon, cyclonic storm Gaja not only brought copious rain in delta districts but also claimed several lives and damaged crops.
With NE monsoon round the corner, it is time rainwater harvesting was prioritized and every drop of rainwater tapped so that the city doesn't face such acute water crisis again.