Consistent rain in the catchment areas of lakes supplying water to the city in the past two days has raised the city’s water stock to 299 days, but the civic body is not heaving a sigh of relief just yet.
According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) calculations, the lakes need to collectively have 12.5 million litre of useful water content for the situation to be considered stable and for the stock to last till the onset of next monsoon.
Civic officials said a decision on the withdrawal of the 10% water cut, which was imposed on July 1, would be taken only after reviewing the situation on September 15.
The BMC is also yet to decide on the process of cloud seeding. It is likely to opt for seeding from the ground (lifting crystals from a burner installed near the lakes) instead of from the air.
“There has been a rise in water levels in the past two days,” said Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner, adding, “We are considering the process of seeding [clouds] from the ground, as it does not require clearances from the Centre, We will take a final call in the next few days.”
The BMC has been in talks with the government of Karnataka, which recently invited tenders for cloud seeding from the ground.
“We are in the process of preparing fresh estimates for the technique. It is also more viable as it would cost 60% of the current estimate,” added Gupta.
In 2009, both air and ground seeding methods were experimented above Tansa and Modak Sagar lakes, but they failed to yield results. “Even now, after the work orders are given, we would need 15 days before the actual process can start. The entire machinery would need to be set up and clouds would need to be studied before they are seeded,” said Ramesh Bhambale, chief hydraulic engineer
Pressed for time, civic officials said the experiment was likely to take place in October though it was initially planned for September.