India, facing its worst water crisis in its history, and 21 Indian cities will run out of groundwater by 2020, a new report from the NITI Aayog – a government think tank. And one city is facing the brunt right now. CHENNAI.
The fourth largest city in India and capital of Tamil nadu, Chennai is home to almost 10million people hasn’t received a single drop of rain for 200 straight days. Hence leading for the water levels in the reservoirs depleting to the lowest levels in history.
In 2018, the Northeast monsoon was a failure. Brought 24 percent less rain into Tamil Nadu than it was projected to. Chennai was the worst hit, getting just 353 mm, which is less than half of the 790 mm it was supposed to get.
Chennai is now critically dependent on its three mega water desalination plants with a combined capacity of 180 mld, and the units are working overtime to remain at least 80-90% efficient.
The main reason for this is a huge urban population which leads to higher year-round demand. A problem considering India’s highly seasonal rainfall. This kind of rain needs the seepage infrastructure and storage for it be used through the year. Leonardo Di Caprio’s said that only rain can save Chennai is not strictly true — rain, coupled with adequate storage mechanisms and demand management can.
Huge water tankers, now a very common sight in chennai are now getting waters from sub urban areas and selling them at steep rates to the citizens who are in desperate need of water.
“Therefore, it is critical to evaluate water risk and water management aspects at a watershed/catchment/river basin level. For example, look at how the water management indices of downstream states are getting impacted by the water management practices of upstream states and transboundary movement of water,”