Chennai's Water Shortage: How Are They Coping?

Water rationing, working from home and no air conditioning are just some of the measures being taken.
Chris Young
Chennai traffic at nightCommons Wikimedia

This year's monsoon season in India has come late. The result? India's 6th largest city, Chennai, has run out of water.

After the city's 4 main reservoirs ran dry, people have been seen fighting in queues for water, many have been unable to take showers, and hotels have been warning people to use less water.


A population of 4 million

There is still some water available, however, it is not known how long this will last. Due to this, Chennai's large population is having to rely on governments tankers of water that are being distributed around the city.

Some people are paying high prices to have private companies transport water to their homes, the BBC reports, though it can take days for the water to arrive. Others have been trying to draw groundwater from wells.

Storing water in India is a common practice as water scarcity is a common occurrence over long summers. However, the delay to the monsoon season this year has seen a particularly bad drought hitting the region.

Water rations

Chennai's metro system has stopped using its cooling water-reliant air conditioning at stations, businesses such as restaurants have had to close, and some workers have been told to work from home so as to conserve water in offices. Hotels have also started rationing water to guests.

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P Chandrasekhar, a supervisor at Ananda, a small hotel in the city told the BBC: "all the hotels run the risk of shutting down because there's hardly enough water."

There is, thankfully, a glimmer of hope that things will improve soon. On Thursday, there were reports of rain in the city.

People posted images and videos on social media to show their joy at the first rain in almost 190 days. It has been the longest time Chennai has gone without rainfall in ten years.

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