Chennai gets monsoon showers, but its too little to solve the water crisis

College students cross a road amid rains, in Chennai.Photo) (
  • The monsoon rains have finally arrived in Chennai but they aren’t enough to solve the water problem.
  • However, the rainfall deficit has started shrinking over the past two days because of light showers.
  • For the last six months, the 5 million city residents have been facing drought as monsoons played truant
The monsoons have finally arrived to the parched city of Chennai, and its residents are enjoying the light showers. While it is a huge relief, it is nowhere close to solving the water crisis that the city is facing.

Over the next two days, these rains will remain light, according to the India Meteorological Department. This year, Chennai’s rainfall deficit was around 45%, which has started shrinking.

For the last six months, the 5 million city residents have been facing drought as monsoons played truant. Normally, Chennai would receive 140 mm of annual rainfall but this year the whole state recorded a deficit of 28% since June 1. The monsoon, that is supposed to begin from June 1, and was later like it was across the country.

Four years back, the city was flooded due to cyclones in the Bay of Bengal. As many as 500 died and 1.8 million people had to move. In 2019, however the city had the problem which is just the opposite. The city went without rain for 200 days this year.

The Price of Water


As the city’s reservoirs dried up, water became an expensive commodity. So much so, that its more expensive than petrol. Residents are reportedly paying ₹80-100 for a 20 litre drinking water can, nearly ₹4 more than the price of petrol.

Those few who could afford, even paid ₹75,000 for a month, to get a water tanker right to their homes.

The local authorities are bringing water into the city via a special train, and distributing it.

Chennai Metro Water also started providing water at ₹700 for every 9000 litres. However, to avail of this, many of them wait for as long as three to four weeks to receive the supply. Ultimately, they would have no choice but to pay up or remain thirsty.