According to the data from Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Metro Water), Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam lakes had a combined storage of 7,176 million cubic feet (mcft) on Saturday, which is more than double the storage that the lakes had on the same day last year. On November 21, 2019, the lakes had a combined storage of only 3,193 mcft of water.
It was much worse in 2018, when the city experienced severe stress in water availability. On the same day that year, the four lakes had only 1,585 mcft, a drastic drop from 4,527 mcft they had in 2017. Even worse was in 2016, when the lakes had a meagre only 854 mcft, which is only around 12 per cent of the present storage. In 2015, the year when city faced the history flood, the lakes had a combined storage of 9,149 mcft on November 21.
Among the four lakes, Chembarambakkam lake has the highest storage of 2,921 mcft against the capacity of 3,645 mcft. The government has already issued flood warning to the people residing around the lake. Red Hills and Poondi lakes have a storage of 2,405 mcft and 1,675 mcft respectively, while Cholavaram has 175 mcft. A Metro Water official said that the lakes received water from the Krishna river under Telugu-Ganga project, as the reservoirs in Andhra Pradesh have reached their brim. Apart from the Krishna water, the catchment areas of the lakes, especially Red Hills and Chembarambakkam, have received very good rain in the last few days.