Summer action plan: DJB to target 998MGD peak water supply

Published on Apr 15, 2022 12:05 AM IST

A senior DJB official said that the number of operational tubewells will be raised to 5,263 -- an increase of 471 -- to meet the increased target

A water stressed city, Delhi is estimated to have a water demand of 1,380 MGD based on the norms of per day water requirement of 60 gallon per person. (Raj K Raj/HT)
A water stressed city, Delhi is estimated to have a water demand of 1,380 MGD based on the norms of per day water requirement of 60 gallon per person. (Raj K Raj/HT)

Amid unusually high temperatures this summer, the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is planning to increase the daily water production to approximately 1,000 million gallons per day (MGD) -- its highest ever -- mostly through groundwater sources to meet a water deficit of around 450MGD.

Noting that the city sees peak water demand during summers, a senior DJB official said the DJB has set a target of producing 998MGD of potable water, an increase of 63MGD over last year’s 935MGD. A water stressed city, Delhi is estimated to have a water demand of 1,380 MGD based on the norms of per day water requirement of 60 gallon per person.

“The targeted production from the nine water treatment plants will be pushed up to 861MGD instead of last year’s peak summer production of 845 MGD. The extraction of water from sub-surface resources, such as ranney wells and tubewells, will be 137MGD -- an addition of 47 MGD over last year,” said a senior DJB official.

A senior DJB official said that the number of operational tubewells will be raised to 5,263 -- an increase of 471 -- to meet the increased target, adding that the water will be sustainably extracted from areas having high ground water level and located along the Yamuna floodplains or water treatment plants with high natural recharge.

The groundwater contribution to Delhi’s water supply was 86MGD in 2020 and 90MGD in 2021.

Experts have, however, raised questions about the quality of groundwater sources.

According to the Central Groundwater Board (CGWB), water in most parts of Delhi is already in the “overexploited” category, meaning there is more extraction than there is recharge. Its latest annual report for 2020-21, released in August 2021, claims that large parts of groundwater in Delhi was also found to have high salinity levels and had the presence of heavy metals such as iron, manganese and even uranium beyond the permissible limits.

The economic survey released by the Delhi government on March 25, 2022 states that the water treatment capacity of the DJB, which had remained largely stagnant at 906MGD between 2014 to 2018, has witnessed growth over the last three years with the largest spike over the last one year.

“The water production is also being gradually increased by reducing water leakage losses, increasing the performance levels of water treatment plant by replacing filters, old pumps and also shoring up the sub-surface water resources,” said the official.

DJB operates nine water treatment plants in the city at Wazirabad, Chandrawal, Haiderpur, Nangloi, Okhla, Dwarka, Bawana, Bhagirathi and Sonia Vihar. “The optimisation has led to increase of production by 5MGD each in Chandrawal and Haiderpur water treatment plants while the other units will increase output by 1-2 MGD,” said the official.

The latest outcome budget of the DJB states that the water utility has been able to save 4MGD of water due to repair of 2,955km of old and defective pipelines till December 2021.

While the piped water supply has been extended to 1,642 unauthorised colonies, the water utility has also identified 10,141 daily fixed water supply points where tankers will be deployed. “Between April and July 2022 period, 1,198 water tanker will remain on duty. DJB has 250 stainless steel water tankers, 407 units have been contracted and another 541 have been hired for summer action plan... The vulnerable points have been identified in consultation with the local MLAs,” the official explained.

Manoj Misra, who heads Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, said that such water extraction points can be developed in the active floodplain areas where natural recharge can occur but the water utility should not extend it to the non-floodplain zones. “The concern mainly is regarding the quality of water and there should be constant monitoring of the contaminants in the water being extracted. In Sonia Vihar or Palla floodplains, chances of contamination are low but the DJB should still monitor the level of insecticide contamination due to agricultural activities on floodplains,” he added.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2022
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