Winning the battle of Dry patches in Chennai

2019 has been a year of severe summers with long dry area with no water in Chennai. Chennai had to declare Zero Day wherein all the taps run dry and people had to wait for the rainy season for 196 days.

Yet, the city did not lose hope and pulled itself through the dry season by channeling their daily water needs mainly from four reservoirs apart from two water desalination plants, and water from farm wells, granite quarries and river beds.

The main reservoirs are Chembarambakkam, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Poondi which had the holding capacity of over 11,257 mcft. But in March 2019, these reservoirs went dry and the water managers had to use the supplementary sources as their primary water resource. They drew 180MLD from two desalination plants and supplied tap water from abandoned quarries of Erumaiyur and Chikkarayapuram.

Moreover, the localities turned to the dial-a-tanker facility, increasing the extraction of groundwater from12,00 water tankers to 15,00.

This crisis pressurized the government to work on eco restoration of river water. Awareness campaigns run by the NGO’s and residents initiated with the installation of rainwater harvesting.  Greater Chennai Corporation declared green pasted stickers and door to door RWH inspection. Thus, this dry patch war of water in Chennai taught the lesson of togetherness, conservation and restoration of the natural resource.

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