The city’s next summer is going to be worse than its last.
Mumbai’s already thinly stretched water supply is about to be stretched even thinner, with water dipping drastically in the Modak Sagar and Upper Vaitarna lakes, which supply water to the island city and the western suburbs.
Officials said there is currently only enough water for the next 200 days, and that May and June will be very difficult to get through. The municipality will propose a once-a-week 100 per cent cut at a meeting on Monday.
The city’s 108 water supply zones will be divided into seven zones (two in the island city, two in the western suburbs, three in the eastern suburbs) and each zone will face a 100 per cent cut.
“If the groups leaders reject the proposal, it will be very difficult for us to provide water,” said a senior official requesting anonymity. The total water stock in the city’s six lakes is also dipping gradually.
As on Tuesday, there was 7.71 lakh million litres of water in all six lakes — last year on the same day, the figure was 10.1 lakh million litres.
“If we don’t save water now, the city will face extreme water shortage in May and June,” a senior civic official added.
Anil Diggikar, additional municipal commissioner, said: “We will discuss the issue in the group leaders meeting on Monday and come up with measures to be taken”. Water in the Bhandup Master Balance Reservoir (MBR), which supplies to the island city and the western suburbs, is also dwindling, leading to a drop in the pressure at which it is supplied.
“The maximum water level in the MBR is 4 metres — these days, it dips below 1.8 metres, reducing the water supply pressure drastically,” said an official from the Hydraulic Department.
The worst hit will be those living on hilly areas, which will consequently get water at the lowest pressure.
Currently, the city is reeling under 15 and 30 per cent water cuts respectively for residential and commercial consumers.
A day after the municipal commissioner said water connections to pre-2000 slums would be regularised, Diggikar said: “We will need the Supreme Court’s permission to supply water there as the proposal to regularise pre-2000 slums is sub-judice.”