As Tamil Nadu is hit with the worst drought in 140 years, Chennai is facing a severe water crisis because the lakes that normally quench the city’s thirst have dried up, according to media reports. 

The city requires about 830 million liters of water per day, but has been getting only about half that amount over the past few days, NDTV reported.

A senior official was quoted as saying, “Water is also coming in from stone quarries in Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur, besides two desalination plants in the city.”

Puzhal, Sholavaram, Kaliveli, Pulicat and Maduranthakam lakes, which are located within a 60km radius, are Chennai’s main water sources. The lakes also restore the groundwater in Chennai and its surrounding areas.

In many areas, piped water is being supplied only once every three days. The authorities have deployed about 300 water tankers in the city.

Environmentalists blame rapid urbanization for the water crisis.