While five of the seven lakes that supply water across Mumbai have started to overflow, the remaining two — Upper Vaitarna and Bhatsa — which supply a major amount of water to the city — are yet to reach their full supply mark.
To add to this, water levels have been depleting for the past week because the gates of these two lakes that help stock water in the catchment areas were opened before the lakes started to overflow.
Civic officials do not see any reason to worry yet because an entire month of monsoon still remains. Mumbai has over 12.9 lakh million litres of water at present and this will be sufficient for an average of over 340 days.
The water content recorded last week was over 91 per cent of the total water storage capacity — 14.47 lakh million litres. This week, the stock has come down to 89 per cent. The two lakes supply nearly 2,700 million litres of the 3,750 million litres water that is provided daily. The depleting lake levels of these two state government-owned lakes have led to a decrease in the overall quantum of stored water, revealed civic sources.They said that the two lakes may not overflow this year and will be allowed to fill up to 80 to 85 percent of its capacity.
One of the civic officials, on request of anonymity, said, “The gates are opened even before the lakes overflow for the safety of the structure. Last week, the gates were opened to avoid any damage to the structure because of the heavy rainfall. Thus, there is a decrease in the water level. If the dam overflows and the structure is damaged, there are chances that the villages located around the lake could be disturbed.”
Ashok Tawadia, chief engineer at the hydraulic engineering department said, “As we calculate our water distribution from October 1, we plan for 305 days, till July 31. We have a good amount of water stock available with us currently and also a month of monsoon remains, so there is nothing to worry about.”
While Tulsi started to overflow last month, Vihar, Modak Sagar, Tansa and Middle Vaitarna started overflowing early last week.