With two months for the onset of monsoon, the city has water for another 120 days, officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) hydraulic department confirmed.
According to data revealed by the department, the seven lakes that supply water to the city (Modak Sagar, Tansa, Vehar, Tulsi, Upper Vaitarna, Bhatsa and Middle Vaitarna) have 4.2 lakh million litres as recorded on Saturday.
This is 83 thousand million litres or 16% less than what was recorded at the same time in 2015.
The city had 5.08 lakh million litres of water stock last year at the same time, data shows.
For the city to have the current supply intil July 31, 2016, the BMC has to get an approval from the state government to utilise the reserve stock from the Bhatsa and Upper Vaitarna lakes.
The live water stock includes the amount of rainfall received during the four months of monsoon. Water cuts in the city depend on the stock available at this level. On the other hand, the reserve stock is stored water that is utilised in a crisis. As Bhatsa and Upper Vaitarna come under the state government’s jurisdiction, the BMC is awaiting approval to use the reserve stock.
The reserve stock in Bhatsa is 2.25 lakh million litres, while for Upper Vaitarna, it is 92,000 million litres.
Ashok Kumar Tawadia, chief engineer of the hydraulic department, said, “Our planning until July 31 is based on the approval. We have had two meetings with state government officials to discuss the issue.”
The city’s water needs are met by two different supply systems – Bhatsa and Vaitarna.
If the reserve stock is not taken into consideration, the Bhatsa system has water until June 15, 2016, and Vaitarna has water until July 15, 2016. While the Bhatsa system supplies to the eastern suburbs and part of the island city, the Vaitarna system supplies water to the western suburbs and part of the island city.
As a result of poor monsoon, the BMC had imposed a 20% water cut on residential properties and a 50% water cut on commercial establishments in August last year.
The Bhatsa river, which caters to 55% of the city’s total water requirement has 1.9 lakh million litres of water, which is 24 thousand million litres less than what was recorded the same time last year.
Even Modak Sagar has seen a significant drop since last year. The lake that caters to 12.5% of the city’s water needs has 25,000 million litres in store this year, as compared to 52,000 million litres recorded in 2015.