Water – current problem in Chennai.

Water is becoming major problem for most of the places in Chennai. The problem was felt only in few places and during peak summer seasons. But now most of the areas in Chennai got affected due to water scarcity.

Chennai city is well placed between large water bodies. There are many large lakes and number of small lakes in and around Chennai. The rain water stored in those water bodies were sufficient for the city to make the city best place for large population settlement.

During the last 50 years both Government and people have not paid enough attention to the natural resources gifted to the city. Due to consistent mismanagement and persistent encroachment of lakes, most of the lakes were vanished.



If we see the news paper, every day there will be coverage on water scarcity. The rivers in Tamil Nadu have already dried up.


Chennai had converted its river into ditch long back. So Chennai has ensured two major rivers turn into large scale ditch with filthy water.

Annual Rainfall - Chennai
Source : http://www.chennaimetrowater.tn.nic.in

If we look into the average rainfall around Chennai, which the major reservoirs receive, our average rainfall was between 1000 and 1500 Millimeters between 1965 and 1994. After that the rainfall has become volatile. This can be due to various reasons, but interestingly that is the time when Chennai got more economic growth after globalization of Indian economy.


water storage at Major Reservoiers - Mar Chennai
Storage as on March every year – Quantity in Mcft


water storage at Major Reservoiers - Jun Chennai
Storage as on June every year – Quantity in Mcft


Water storage at Major Reservoiers - Chennai
Storage as on December every year – Quantity in Mcft

The total water storage in major reservoirs is in declining trend after 2008, except for Dec 2015 when Chennai was affected with floods.

These data indicates that our rains are going to be cyclical, and we have to store every drop of rain water for our sustainable future. Perpetual ignorance from common people, consistent encroachment by political and business class cannot be tolerated. Already the suffering has reached across most of the city. If we keep fighting for our basic needs when we know the solutions, then where will be the time for future development?



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