The gap in demand and supply of water in the city is increasing every year.
To correct some of that mismatch, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is looking to shore up the size of its reserves.
The BMC is now mulling a project to augment the storage capacity of the Tansa dam by increasing the height of its 38 spillway gates.
Former Deputy Municipal Commissioner P.R.Sanglikar suggested this in the wake of the water crisis the city is now facing.
The project aims to increase storage capacity at the oldest dam in India, by increasing its height by one foot, which is expected to increase Tansa's yearly water stock by 6,000 million litres — over its current capacity of 1.8 lakh million litres of water.
Tansa supplies 550 million litres of water daily (MLD), against the city’s demand of 3,400 MLD, which it gets from its six lakes. The proposal also suggests removing some small islands that do not have any plant or vegetation cover.
The cost of the project is estimated at Rs 22 crore, to be completed in 12 months. “We have received the proposal and are studying its feasibility,” said Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak.
For approval, the proposal will have to be sent to the Central Designs Organisation (CDO), the Water Resources Department, and the state government. The CDO will also calculate the cost of the project.
To accommodate the rise in demand for water during October when it gets warmer, the BMC is planning to ease water cuts.
“Due to the rise in temperature during October, water demand increases so we’re thinking of reducing water cuts by 10 per cent (from current 15 per cent),” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Anil Diggikar.
The civic standing committee is also demanding a rollback on water cuts as the festive season is underway.
“Since the water situation in the lakes has improved, the BMC can ease cuts at least during the festive season,” said BJP corporator Yogesh Sagar.
“To increase water stocks in major dams like Bhatsa and Upper Vaitarna, which account for 70 per cent of the city’s water supply, we will have cloud seeding over those lakes,” said Phatak.