Humans consume water, discard it, poison it and waste it without considering the consequences. Supplying enough water in the right quantity, at the right time and in the right place has always been a concern. All of life depends on water. It is as important to life as air, food and sunlight. For this reason water has always played an important role in civilizations throughout history. People can live for days without food but will not survive for very long without water. The problem with water is that there is the same amount now as there was in pre-historic times and no way to make anymore of it.As the citizens of Chennai have been witnessing over the past few years, the city is still in the grip of an acute water shortage. Two of the rain-fed lakes that meet the city's needs- Poondi and Red hills- have severely depleted storage owing to the failure of the southwest monsoon and the northeast monsoon last year and a third, sholavaram, is dry. Tanker trucks pressed into service by the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) and those run by private operators are trying to meet the people's daily needs, at least partially. The people of chennai get 35 liters of water per capita in the best of times. The poor, the majority of them living in slums, are the worst- affected. They depend entirely on the water supply systems.
Groundwater is the city's major water source now; It is drawn mainly from the well-fields in the Araniyar- Kortakaiyar basin and the aquifer between tiruvanmiyur and Muttukadu along the coast of south Chennai. Groundwater extraction is reaching its limits. According to the Central Groundwater Board, 80% of Chennai's groundwater has been depleted and any further exploration could lead to salt water ingression. The assured yield from groundwater sources is estimated at 190 million liters per day (mld); of this, 158 mld has been tapped already. During the past century, the World population has tripled, and water use has...
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