Chennai Faces Impending Water Crisis as Veeranam Lake Dries Up

Chennai Faces Impending Water Crisis as Veeranam Lake Dries Up

Chennai, after Bengaluru, is encountering a severe water crisis as the summer heat exacerbates. Veeranam Lake, a significant water source, has dried up, raising concerns about water scarcity in the city.

Current Water Status

  • Veeranam Lake recorded zero million cubic feet (mcft) of water on April 15, 2024, compared to 687.40 mcft last year.
  • Other reservoirs like Poondi, Cholavaram, Puzhal, Kannankottai Thervoy Kandigai, and Chembarambakkam are also experiencing declining water levels.

Impact on Residents

  • Residents, especially in areas like Medavakkam, are facing a shortage of water, with borewells running dry and limited options for alternative water sources.

Water Sources and Infrastructure

  • Chennai utilizes various water sources, including surface water, groundwater, and desalinated seawater, along with three desalination plants to meet its water needs.

Assessment of Water Supply

  • The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) express confidence in meeting water needs until September-October, despite a persistent demand-supply gap.

Projected Water Demand

  • A joint study forecasts a widening gap between water demand and supply by 2030 due to urbanization and climate change, necessitating multifaceted interventions for sustainable water management.

Proposed Solutions

  • Proposed solutions include groundwater recharge, desalination expansion, reclaimed water utilization, and water consumption reduction to bridge the gap between supply and demand.

Challenges and Concerns

  • Concerns exist regarding the adequacy of initiatives like rainwater harvesting and desalination plants, highlighting the urgency for sustainable solutions to safeguard water access.

Expert Insights

  • Experts attribute Chennai’s water crisis to climate change and inadequate rainwater management, stressing the importance of effective policy governance and widespread adoption of conservation practices.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) with Answers:

  1. What was the recorded water storage in Veeranam Lake on April 15, 2024?
    • A) 687.40 mcft
    • B) Zero mcft
    • C) 1,323 mcft
    • D) 2,808 mcft
    • Answer: B) Zero mcft
  2. Which of the following reservoirs had the highest water storage capacity on April 15?
    • A) Chembarambakkam Lake
    • B) Puzhal Lake
    • C) Poondi Lake
    • D) Kannankottai Thervoy Kandigai
    • Answer: B) Puzhal Lake
  3. What is the primary concern for residents in Medavakkam regarding water scarcity?
    • A) Lack of desalinated seawater
    • B) Declining water levels in borewells
    • C) Insufficient rainfall
    • D) Lack of piped water supply
    • Answer: B) Declining water levels in borewells
  4. According to CMWSSB data, what was the average groundwater level in March this year?
    • A) 3.46 metres
    • B) 4.22 metres
    • C) 4.91 metres
    • D) 13.222 tmc
    • Answer: C) 4.91 metres
  5. What is the projected water demand for Chennai by 2050 according to the joint study?
    • A) 1,988 MLD
    • B) 2,049 MLD
    • C) 2,365 MLD
    • D) 2,232 MLD
    • Answer: B) 2,049 MLD