Resident of the suburbs receive less water from the civic body’s supply network as compared to those living in the island city.
The island city – which is the least populated – gets 34% of the total water supply, while the western suburbs receives only 39%.
These figures were found in a research analysis report released on Tuesday by the Mumbai wing of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a Delhi-based research organisation, which has sourced its data from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s white paper of 2009.
Though the figures in the report date back to 2009 and there have been changes both in the supply levels and population data, the issue of inequitable water distribution remains as pressing as there has little reform in the distribution system.
“It is a false notion that the city faces water scarcity. Although mostly dependent on rain, there are adequate sources of supply. But there is no sincere commitment to improve water management to achieve sustainability,” said Dhaval Desai, research fellow at ORF and one of the authors of the report.
Titled ‘Does Mumbai Have Enough Water?’, the report, which has been reviewed by water expert Dr Madhavrao Chitale, puts forth a detailed study and recommendations for the BMC’s supply network. It also includes comparative studies with Delhi, Chennai and Singapore.
“By planning more projects such as Pinjal and Gargai dams, the BMC is constantly focusing on source augmentation. The approach needs to be shifted towards bringing in equality in water distribution,” said Desai.
Meanwhile, a water audit for the city, which has been planned by the BMC this year, is still to take off.
“By January, we would have installed flow meters in most wards. This would help measure water supplied to each of the wards and the sub-regions. Once this project is achieved, along with putting in place pressure monitoring and flow management systems, we would be able to meet the requirement of water,” said Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner, projects.