With water levels fast depleting in the lakes that supply water to Mumbai, Mumbaiites' woes may have just begun. Complaints at ward offices in the city have already increased as low pressure supply and water cuts in some parts of the city started last month.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is facing a huge challenge in supplying 3,750 million litres of water a day to citizens as 720 mld is lost every day to evaporation. Currently, the water stock will last the city another 73 days.
Another major issue is that the water level in one of the major lakes, the Upper Vaitarna, has gone down to below its minimum level leading to no supply from this reservoir.
Evaporation happens during the summer at major lakes like Upper and Middle Vaitarna, Modak Sagar and Tansa. While the maximum level of water at Upper Vaitarna is 603.51, its lowest level is 595.44 metres. Currently, the level of the reservoir has gone down to 594.43 metres, leading to no water supply from the Upper Vaitarna. The BMC has 2.75 lakh million litres of water available till May 22, whereas last year on the same day the available stock was 2.88 lakh million litres. The combined capacity of all the seven lakes is about 14 lakh million litres and the stock currently is just 19% of its full capacity.
The areas of Ghatkopar, Andheri and Shivaji Park have been facing a severe water crisis. The pipeline bursts at Ghatkopar on Sunday, at Laxmi Nagar Ghatkopar (East) and another near 60-feet Road were temporarily resolved on Tuesday. Shivaji Park and Andheri, however, have been facing a low pressure problem which the BMC claims to have solved with the replacement and repair of old pipelines. The only relief to citizens was that there have not been any official water cuts announced so far and the decision on the same to be taken only if the monsoon is delayed, authorities claimed.
Sanjay Mukherjee, additional municipal commissioner, said, “There is heavy loss of about 720 mld water during the summer season, and we have to plan and manage the water supply according to the stock available at the end of the monsoon, so that we can meet the 3,750 mld requirement. There are no water cuts planned as of now and the complaints of low pressure and other water related problems are taken care at the ward level.”