Starting next week, BMC will impose water cuts across Mumbai for a month, as water stock at the seven lakes supplying water to the city is expected to last just another 247 days.
The monsoon too is showing no signs of revival.
Commercial users, such as hotels, malls and industries will be affected more than households, said sources from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), adding the water cuts may be extended beyond a month if the situation does not improve.
“A review will be done and a decision will be announced by next week. There is a need to conserve water, as the lakes are yet to fill to their capacity,” said Ashok Tawadia, chief hydraulic engineer.
At present, only 9.3 lakh million litres of water is available. Last year’s water stock had exceeded 13 lakh million litres. The BMC’s target by October 1 is around 14 lakh million litres of water — if all seven lakes are filled to capacity.
The BMC’s decision to cut water supply came after the weather department predicted a deficient monsoon for the rest of the season, which means there will be no significant increase in lake levels.
Good rain in the second week of August usually fills up the lakes. However, this year, the lake levels were depleting instead of rising. For instance, the Modak Sagar lake had crossed its overflow mark lase year, but this year, water levels have seen a major drop. The story is no different at Vihar lake. Of the seven lakes supplying water to the city, the catchment areas of four have received no rainfall at all.
“The catchment areas of lakes have been receiving minimal amount of rainfall this season. There is no other way to ensure that the stock lasts till the next monsoon. If we cannot save enough water after a month of cuts, then we will continue the cuts even after that,” said a civic official, not wishing to be named.
To ensure the city has enough water until the next monsoon, civic officials have also started planning awareness campaigns across the city from next week. Officials have also made a short film asking citizens to conserve water.