The civic body is considering tapping the lakhs of litres of excess rainwater, which goes to the sea every day from the city’s overflowing lakes. Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya has instructed civic officials to undertake a study on how to tap the excess water.
“A lot of excess water is being discharged from three lakes in the city and it is necessary to tap this. We will think how it can be done,” he said. Vihar, Tulsi and Powai lakes in the city are 100 per cent full and have already started overflowing.
Tulsi, which supplies about 18 million litres of water to the city every day, has been overflowing since July 27.
Vihar supplies 110 million litres of water a day to eastern suburbs of Kurla, Kalina and part of Powai besides catering to industries.
Powai lake water is used exclusively for industries but tapping this can help save drinking water.
Once these lakes are filled, lakhs of litres of water goes waste with BMC having not explored means of storing the excess waters. Experts say that tapping is difficult but not impossible. They have, however, ruled out this option Powai lake. “It is not possible to hold overflowing water of Powai lake as the lake is surrounded by housing colonies. And it could cause flooding in residential areas if we tap Powai water,” said Anand Deodhar, water supply expert who is also a former Hydraulic Engineer, BMC. The tapping of excess waters of Vihar and Tulsi is possible, as there are no residential or commercial buildings near them. “There are two ways to tap excess rainwater of Tulsi and Vihar. One is to raise the height of the dam by four to five feet. Second, the diversion of this overflowing water,” said Deodhar. Civic officials are not enthused by the municipal chief’s idea.
“It is not possible to store the overflowing water of Vihar and Tulsi as there is no sufficient place to hold water,” a civic official from water department, on condition of anonymity. “Also it depends on rainfall, we have excess rainfall this year but what about next year? We could not anticipate the rainfall,” he added.