Finally, some good news from the water front. The catchments of the six lakes that supply water to Mumbai received more than 35 mm of rainfall on an average in the first week of June. Last year at the same time the catchments had not recorded any rainfall.
State owned dams, Upper Vaitarna and Bhatsa, have received the maximum rainfall--74 mm and 65 mm respectively. Until Friday, Tulsi had received 59 mm, Modak Sagar 42 mm and Tansa 38 mm of rainfall.
“It’s a good start and we hope showers continue like this,” said Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is depending on the monsoon to help it tide over the unprecedented water crisis.
Residential users in the city are facing 15 per cent water cut and commercial units are suffering with a 30 per cent cut.
The total water stock in all the six lakes is 80,366 million litres as against a 2.2 lakh million litres same time, last year.
With showers in the catchment areas, the dip in lake levels after the daily water stock is withdrawn has been very less.
“Earlier the lake levels would dip by 5-6 cm every day after water was drawn from it. Now it dips only by 2-3 cm,” Kshatriya said.
From June 1 to 10 the city has received 172 mm of rainfall. The average rainfall the city receives every monsoon is 2,294 mm.
Lake levels of Upper Vaitarna, Vihar have dipped below the lowest drawable levels and supply from Vihar has been discontinued while supply from Upper Vaitarna was discontinued briefly.
The city has been getting only 2,900 million litres of water a day (MLD) as against a demand of 4,200 MLD. The meteorology department has predicted extremely heavy rainfall on June 12 and 13 in the city and suburbs and the BMC hopes this will improve the situation.
The BMC has spent Rs 38 crore to make alternate water sources such as borewells and cleaning wells available. It has also begun cracking down on water theft.
The BMC has registered 141 police complaints against water theft and illegal connections. It has discontinued 6,228 unauthorised water connections and confiscated 828 booster pumps.