CHENNAI: Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) has suffered a setback as Andhra Pradesh irrigation officials stopped the release of Krishna water from Kandaleru dam to Poondi reservoir on Sunday, casting a shadow over the city which has been waiting for water from the northeast monsoon to meet its drinking water needs.
Water managers, mustering courage, are, however, stressing that the existing water storage is more than enough to tackle water distribution for the next two months.
Sources said that AP released Krishna water last month based on the requests from the State government. The quantum of water release was gradually stepped up to 1,800 cusecs and the Poondi reservoir had so far received 1.87 tmc of water from Kandaleru reservoir.
“Going by the current scenario, the water storage at four lakes including Poondi and Chembarambakkam lakes stood at 1,798 million cubic feet (mcft) against a total capacity of 11,257 mcft. The Chennai city would have plunged into a water crisis, had Krishna water not been released,” said a PWD official, on condition of anonymity. The once parched Poondi reservoir has now 805 mcft of water and AP officials assured of releasing water once the dam fills again, added the official.
Meanwhile, water managers in the city are anticipating with bated breath the onset of the so far elusive northeast monsoon.
With the meteorological department floundering on forecasts about the onset, it is adding to the woes of CMWSSB. “As of now, we are drawing only surface water to supply drinking water in a full-fledged manner and we are not planning to go for other sources. Since northeast monsoon is round the corner, we are hopeful of receiving copious rainfall in and around Chennai,” said a CMWSSB engineer. The Krishna water supply may have stopped, but the inflow into Poondi reservoir would continue for two more days, said the official.
At a time when most interior districts have received heavy rains, Chennai has not received a heavy spell of rain so far, rendering water bodies bone dry....