Several water bodies in Chennai’s neighboring districts have touched their storage capacity

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Several water bodies in Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, and Tiruvallur districts are fast filling up after the recent rain spells. Heavy rains that lashed many areas in and around the city have also helped a marginal increase in the groundwater table.

Many lakes in Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu districts have reached their full capacity and some of them are overflowing. Of the 924 water bodies in these districts, nearly 555 have filled up. They now have total storage of 16.2 thousand million cubic feet against their capacity of 20 tmc.

An official of the Water Resources Department said: “We are expecting the remaining tanks also to reach 90% of their capacity by Wednesday and are monitoring them. This year, there would be sufficient water for cultivation.”

Of the 17 major water bodies in these districts, nearly 15 have reached their capacity. Thenneri in Walajabad taluk, one of the largest with a storage capacity of 1,900 million cubic feet, is brimming with water. Some of the other lakes that are full, include Manimangalam, Manamathy, Thaiyur, and Kodangi in Tiruporur taluk.

The department expects the lakes in Kolavai, Chengalpattu district, and Madurantakam to surplus in a few days. The check dam in Vayalur and Esur Vallipuram built across Palar river have turned into tourist spots as people throng to witness water overflowing. Similarly, nearly 153 of the 576 water bodies in the Tiruvallur district have filled up. Kovilpathagai and Ponpadi lakes are among them.

Marginal rise in groundwater table

Heavy downpour over the weekend has also led to a rise in groundwater table by 1metre to 2 meters across the city during November. According to Chennai Metrowater, areas such as Adyar, Sholinganallur and Alandur have witnessed a better rise in water level compared to other areas.

Rain Centre’s director, Sekar Raghavan said this rain spell has brought in a clear distinction of clay, sandy and rocky soil conditions. November rains have pushed up the water tables in sandy areas. But, there is water stagnation in clay areas such as Nanganallur and Madipakkam and rocky terrain, including Tambaram, as shallow aquifers are saturated. “While depletion and recharge are slow in sandy soil, the recharge is fast in clay and rocky surface,” he said.

Moderate rains to continue in State

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department has forecast light to moderate showers to continue till Thursday. The easterly trough over southwest Bay of Bengal off Sri Lanka coast-south Tamil Nadu coast persists.

S. Balachandran, Deputy Director-General of Meteorology, Chennai said the rainfall intensity would largely reduce and heavy rains may occur in one or two places in coastal areas on Thursday. The State has received a rainfall of 42 cm, which is excess by 11% for the season.

Chennai may experience light showers in some areas by Thursday. The city has recorded 103 cm of rainfall against its average of 140 cm this year since January 1. Meenambakkam has received 137 cm of rainfall against its annual average of 138 cm.

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