Hotels, firms cut back on water use as taps run dry

Water crisis Chennai water crisis Madras High Court Chennai water shortage bad monsoons drought groundwater level Indian Express

This water crisis seems to be a pressing issue in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu as well. He said his government made a decision to accept Kerala's offer of water.

"Water is being supplied through tankers and desalinated water is also being distributed", Chief Minister E Palaniswami said.

All four reservoirs that supply Chennai, known as the Detroit of south Asia for its flourishing automobile industry, have run dry this summer, largely because of poor monsoon rains a year ago.

The water crisis has also meant that most of the city has to depend exclusively on Chennai's water department, which has been distributing water through government trucks across neighbourhoods.

As a result, most of Chennai's more than four million-strong population is now relying exclusively on government tankers to provide their water.

"The water table in Chennai is seriously compromised", ecologist and biodiversity expert Dr. Jayashree Vencatesan told CBS News. Rains were expected in a few days, he said.

People fighting in queues for water, many unable to take showers, and hotels warning people about water usage.

Tamil Nadu capital Chennai is facing an acute shortage of drinking water. Manoharan said that many residents refused to leave since they don't have any place to go.

Indian residents stand around with plastic pots filled with drinking water at a distribution point in Chennai on June 19, 2019.

An alarming report previous year by the Indian government's own research institute, NITI Aayog, warned that 21 Indian cities, including New Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, would run out of groundwater by 2020. The water supplies have gone down to 525 million litres per day against the required volume of 800 million litres.

While the middle class can just about manage to pay the inflated prices now being charged by private water-tanker companies, that option is not open to the poor.

"Only rain can save Chennai from this situation", an official told BBC Tamil.

People should also understand the situation and cooperate, the chief minister, said and urged the media to not to create an "illusion" of water scarcity.

Real estate developers have stopped construction work in major parts of the city due to water crisis.

Even during "normal" times, as against the city's requirement of 1,300 MLD, the metro water department was able to supply only 830 MLD.

"Unfortunately this is forecast to be light to moderate rain and the reservoirs are nearly dry".

On the opposite hand on Thursday, there had been reports of rain in the metropolis. But across town, residents could be seen crowded around water tankers in temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius, holding buckets as media reported scuffles. "We are also talking to manufacturers for designing a technology which can produce water from humidity", he said. "If we already have water problems now, how am I going to make sure that she has water to drink tomorrow?"



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