There’s enough water to meet Mumbai’s needs for 133 more days or till the end of July in the seven lakes that supply the city.
And by July-end the rains will be here. So that’s some relief for Mumbaiites who have been facing water cuts of up to 20% in some areas. But that’s no reason to open all the taps on March 24, Holi.
According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the total usable quantity in all the seven lakes stands at 4.8 lakh million litres, which is 16.76% less than what was recorded at the same time last year.
BMC currently supplies 3,200 million litres a day (MLD) to the city, after a cut of 550 MLD. Officials confirmed that the civic body would supply 3,200 MLD on Holi day too, without any cuts.
In 2015, the seven lakes — Modak Sagar, Tansa, Vihar, Tulsi, Upper Vaitarna, Middle Vaitarna and Bhatsa — together had 5.8 lakh million litres as of March 19. This year the figure is 4.8 lakh million litres.
From the seven lakes, there are two channels — the Vaitarna system feeds the western suburbs and the island city and the Bhatsa system supplies water to the eastern suburbs.
A poor monsoon last year led the BMC to impose up to a 20% cut on residential properties and a 50% cut on commercial establishments.
It had also stopped supplying water to bottling plants and municipal swimming pools to save on water.
The government too has woken up to the dangers of the situation worsening in the coming months all over the state.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had urged people to celebrate a dry Holi.
The government had also directed all civic corporations to not supply water to swimming pools.
Senior civic officials said that planning for the city’s water needs at an early stage last year has helped the city tide over what could have been a bigger water crises.
“With a poor monsoon behind, we started planning in August itself, which has helped sustain supply till the next monsoon,” said a senior official.