Chennai and other areas of Tamil Nadu state are currently experiencing significant water shortages as of Thursday, June 20. According to government data, the four major reservoirs that provide water for the city are at 0.2 percent capacity. Businesses and hotels in the area are reportedly rationing supplies or have shut down due to the lack of water. Tamil Nadu state officials have deployed water tankers throughout the city, but residents are reportedly forced to wait hours in line. Local media sources have reported minor scuffles between people waiting at the tankers. Associated protests are possible in the near term if the situation continues to deteriorate.
Chennai’s water supply is dependent on the monsoon season that begins in October. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Chennai experienced less than average rainfall from October-December 2018, resulting in a water deficit of 80 percent.
Individuals in Chennai are advised to conserve water, stock up on bottled water, keep abreast of the situation via local media outlets, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. water rationing measures).
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