There is some relief for Mumbai with heavy rain across Maharashtra and in the catchment areas of lakes supplying water to the city. Of the seven lakes, Middle Vaitarna has reached its full capacity, while Tulsi will overflow soon.
The water stock in all the seven lakes has improved and has crossed 10 lakh million litres. In the past 24 hours, the lakes received almost 50,000 million litres, which means enough water stock for 10 to 15 days. With the current stock of 10.44 lakh million litres, Mumbai has enough water for the next 266 days.
Currently, the civic body has effected 20% water cut to ensure the available drinking water stock lasts till the next monsoon. The city gets 3,750 million litres of water daily from seven lakes/dams located in neighbouring Thane district — Modak Sagar, Tansa, Tulsi, Vihar, Middle Vaitarna, Upper Vaitarna and Bhatsa lakes.
On Saturday, after the Middle Vaitarna dam reached its full capacity, the BMC opened its floodgates so that extra water could flow to the Modak Sagar lake, which is downstream. The water level in Tulsi lake, which has a full capacity level of 139.17m, has now reached 139m.
However, citizens will have to face water cuts for some more time since the available water stock in the lakes is much less compared to last year’s 14 lakh million litres. After two days of continuous rainfall, the deficit in water stock has reduced from 32% to 28%, but civic officials said the situation could have termed ‘improved’ when the deficit drops below 15%.
Chief hydraulic engineer Ashok Tawadia said, “In the past two days, the water stock has increased, but the situation is still not good. "The deficit in water stock is about 28%. It should come down to 15% for us to take any decision on the current water cuts. As of now, the water cut remains.”
Meanwhile, for the second consecutive day, parts of central and north Maharashtra received heavy rainfall. The rainfall in some of scarcity-hit areas in the Marathwada region was significant. However, unlike Friday’s downpour, the rainfall was not well spread. As a result, while Aurangabad received 60.4mm rainfall, other scarcity-hit districts like Osmanabad and Latur received no rainfall.
In north Maharashtra, Nashik and Nandurbar saw heavy rainfall of more than 60mm. The month, so far, has been a good for the state’s water reserves as 11 of the 19 days have been rainy days. The state disaster management cell officials said Maharashtra was expected to witness heavy rainfall in the next 48 hours, till September 21.