Chennai: Even as January is drawing to a close, the city is already on the verge of a huge water crisis. Drinking water supply has been cut by nearly half with three reservoirs going dry, and storage in Red Hills too is on the verge of running out, sources said.
Usually, Chennai gets 830 million litres a day from Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam — which supply drinking water to the city. Water supply was reduced to 650mld in December by The Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) when the monsoon failed.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, an official at the Metro water said “The main source for drinking water now are the two desalination plants at Nemmeli and Minjur, which supply 100mld each. Apart from this, 180mld is drawn from Veeranam water supply project. Some 60mld is now pumped from agricultural wells and metro water-owned wells and this could go up to 100mld in summer.”
Sunil Sood, an environmentalist in the city, agrees that a crisis is waiting to unfold. “Water recycling is the need of the hour. Rainwater harvesting failed us as there were not enough rains. Now, it's time for recycling grey water,” he said. Greywater is water mixed with substances that do not contaminate it. Water from the sink or after washing clothes is the best example. “Apartment complexes can afford to install water purifying units and will, therefore, be able to conserve a lot of water,” he said.
“There are apartments in the city that have not bought a single drop of water since they set up water purification units. The model has to be generally accepted and aped.”...