It may take a while, but the populated suburbs are set to get more water.
The municipal corporation plans to rework the way it directs water to various areas according to the population distribution.
A committee of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Water Department engineers has been set up to study and rearrange the 111 water supply zones to achieve a “near-equitable supply” of water across the city.
Suburban corporators, especially those from the newer, developing areas such as Kandivli, Borivli, Malad and Dahisar, have frequently raised the issue of water supply not matching current needs and the BMC has finally moved to rectify the situation.
Water supply to the city today is about 3,300 million litres per day (MLD), about 900 MLD less than the demand. Some 720 MLD is lost to leakages.
“There is growth in all directions and the demand pattern has changed,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Water Supply) Pramod Charankar. “So we need to do a re-zoning depending on the topography of an area and demand.”
Earlier, the population was concentrated in the island city. Now there are 33 lakh people in the island city, 49 lakh in the western suburbs and 37 lakh in the eastern suburbs.
The supply system, which is over 100 years old, grew and adapted to meet the needs of the suburbs when these were forming, and the BMC study will identify current demand patterns.
The aim is to complete the study in 18 months, with the Water Supply Department covering its primary phase before it is outsourced.
“After the study we will be able to fix booster pumps in areas where the population is more or where there is an elevation,” said Charankar. “We also might add a few zones or club zones with similar characteristics.”