If you thought that the recent monsoon spell might have eased the water crisis in the city, think again.
The civic body is considering increasing water cuts in the city from the existing 15 per cent to 30 per cent, in order to preserve water stocks until June next year.
Municipal Commissioner, Jairaj Phatak said, “If we continue with the 15 per cent water cuts the water stocks will last till May, while if we increase the cuts to 30 percent, the water stocks will last till June. We will still fall short for one month as we plan till July.”
According to civic data currently the city has 9.90 lakh million litres of water stocks which last year was 12.91 lakh million litres. The city requires a 3400 million litres of water daily.
“During summer, individual consumption also increases and hence if the cuts are not increased the water stocks will not suffice till the next monsoon,” said a civic source on the request of anonymity.
The two lakes that overflowed early this week, Tulsi and Tansa, form only 2 per cent of the total supply system.
Larger lakes such as Upper Vaitarna and Bhatsa, which combined form 85 per cent of the total water supply system, are far from overflowing.
Rainfall in the last week has increased water content in the lakes by 58,810 million litres, which is sufficient for 17 days.
“Tulsi and Tansa have stopped overflowing, whereas Bhatsa and Upper Vaitarna are only 70 per cent full,” said Phatak.
As per BMC’s records, combined water stocks in Bhatsa and Upper Vaitarna last year were at 10 lakh million litres, while this year they are only at 7 lakh million litres.
The weather bureau has forecasted a few more cloudy days before the monsoon finally recedes. The civic body plans to take advantage of this late monsoon and focus on enhancing the rainfall over Bhatsa and Vaitarna by conducting cloud seeding experiments.
The water situation will be reviewed after Diwali, after which the formal announcements will be made. “We don’t want to spoil the festival by making any announcements now,” added Phatak.