Though rainfall this monsoon has been almost normal in Bhopal, Upper Lake that provides 40% of the required drinking water to the city has been left two feet short of its full tank level.
Currently, the water level at the lake stands at 1664.7 feet (above sea level) while its full tank level is 1666.8 feet.
According to the MeT office, very little rainfall is expected in the remaining days of the rainy season that lasts up to September 30. Thus, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities are not expecting the water level in the lake to rise any further.
They have, however, allayed fears on water supply front saying that adequate water is available in the lake for the coming months.
“Water supply will not be affected. In 2014, the water level in lake at monsoon end was one feet lower than this year (1663.8 feet) and yet water supply went on smoothly for the entire summer,” assistant engineer (water works) of the BMC, Rakesh Nigam told HT.
During the end of May, water level in the lake was at 1656.3 feet, which means despite continuing water supply, the lake gained over 8 feet of water during the monsoon.
It has however been two years now that the Upper Lake could not be filled to its capacity, mainly due to 30% shortfall in rain in 2014. This year rain in Bhopal has been almost normal, but not good enough to do away with the last year’s shortfall, sources said.
Bhopal district has received normal rainfall at 977.1 mm till now. The city has received 998.3 mm of rain, which is 60 mm short of normal rain till now, MeT records show.
In 2013, the sluice gates of the Bhadbhada dam on the Upper Lake had to be opened in August as the lake was filled up to brim due to heavy rainfall.
Meanwhile, the water level at Kolar reservoir that supplies drinking water to nearly 50% of the city’s population was at 456.17 metres on Thursday, which is six metres short of its full tank level at 462.2 metres. Sources in the water resources department said this shortfall, too, would not affect water supply from the reservoir.
Every day around 20-25 million gallons (MG) of drinking water is drawn from Upper Lake, while the quantum of water drawn from Kolar is around 34 MG.
Water level in Upper Lake
September 24, 2015: 1664.70 feet
Pre-monsoon (May end), 2015: 1656.30 feet
Monsoon end, 2014: 1663.8 feet
Summer end, 2009: 1644.40 feet (lowest in recorded history)
Full Tank Level: 1666.80 feet