“The state government predicts that, with the projected population growth, the annual demand could gradually rise to 32 TMC ft of water in the next five- 10 years.
CHENNAI: Although the Water Resources Department has submitted several proposals to boost the city’s water storage capacity by another 20.50 Thousand Million Cubic (TMC) feet to meet Chennai’s drinking water requirements, the efforts have been delayed due to a lack of funding. The project has an estimated cost of Rs 22,004 crore.
An official in the department said that six reservoirs, with a combined capacity of only 13.2 TMC ft, have been catering to the city’s drinking water and industrial needs, when Chennai’s annual demand is actually 22 TMC ft.
“The state government predicts that, with the projected population growth, the annual demand could gradually rise to 32 TMC ft of water in the next five- 10 years. So the WRD was directed to prepare a detailed project report to construct small reservoirs to increase storage capacity,” the official explained.
The department submitted its report a year ago, but the state has yet to allocate funds. The official said one part of the project’s estimated cost could be released in the upcoming Assembly budget.
A senior official told TNIE that climate change had caused unprecedented flash floods in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, and Tiruvallur districts, the Chennai City Water Supply Augmentation and Flood Mitigation Resilient to Climate Change project was being developed to bridge the gap between current water demand and supply.
“The proposal comprises enhancing rainwater storage capacity upstream of Chennai city by creating new storage structures, increasing the storage capacity of existing water bodies, improving conveyance efficiency, and interconnecting the feasible water bodies,” the senior official said. On the new reservoirs, the official pointed out that land occupation would play a key role in the construction of drinking water reservoirs.