The city took its first significant step towards endings water cuts as the lakes supplying water to it registered a significant rise in levels.
The lakes’ catchment areas received heavy rainfall on Thursday. Levels of three of the six lakes supplying water to the city, Tansa, Vihar and Tulsi, crossed the levels recorded at the same time last year.
Civic officials, however, tempered their optimism with caution. “The levels crossed last year’s mark, not the full-supply mark. It’ll be a while before that happens,” said an official requesting anonymity.
Last year’s deficient monsoon has forced the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to impose a 15 per cent water cut on residential users. For commercial users, it is 30 per cent.
For the BMC to withdraw the water cut, the total water stock in the lakes needs to be around 13 lakh million litres, the city’s annual requirement. Currently, it stands at 3.03 lakh million litres.
“The lake levels are still far below last year’s mark, which means that the water cut will be in place at least till August, after which a review will be done,” said the official. However, he added: “Now we are optimistic that the rainfall this year will be sufficient and we’ll be able to have a water cut-free year.
But, we’ll have to wait and watch till August.”
Before the cuts were imposed, the city was supplied 3,450 million litres a day.
Officers are being cautious because the total water stock in the six lakes is still less than what it was July 22, 2009, 3.72 lakh million litres.
Even though the rainfall has been better than last year’s, corporators want the BMC to conduct cloud seeding experiments.
Thanks to the rain deficit last year, the BMC spent Rs 8 crore on cloud seeding over Modak Sagar and Tansa. However, its success was debatable.