Chennai is facing a water crisis similar to that of 2003-04, as the Red Hills reservoir, one of the city’s key water sources, has dried up for the first time in nearly 14 years. The reservoir previously ran dry in 1983 and then in 2003-2004; and in the first week of November 2015, had around 20 million cubic feet of water before rains came to the city’s rescue, said a Metro Water official. “Our only hope is the desalination plants — which provide 180 MLD of water — and groundwater sources,” the official added.
With several parts of the city dependent on water tankers and bo­rewells, Metro Water has alr­e­a­dy nearly halved its supply. Water managers are hoping to maintain the city’s supply at 470 MLD.

The impact of the drop in water supply can be seen on groundwater levels as more than two-thirds of households use borewells.