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Mumbai’s drinking water stock can last for 65 days: BMC

With the good rain in June, the stock in seven lakes supplying drinking water to Mumbai is around 17
By Mehul R Thakkar, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JUN 30, 2021 12:31 AM IST
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With the good rain in June, the stock in seven lakes supplying drinking water to Mumbai is around 17.44% till Tuesday, which can last for around 65 days. Last year, the water level in seven lakes was 8%, while in 2019, it was just 6% the same day. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials said a water cut is not on the cards at the moment. However, it will monitor the rainfall through the first two weeks of July.

The water level in the seven lakes supplying drinking water to the city is 252,459 million litres, of the total capacity of 1,447,363 lakh million litres. According to the BMC’s data, on Tuesday, Tulsi lake was 74% full, followed by Vihar with a stock of 62.39%. Last year, at this time, both Tulsi and Vihar had mere 30% and 20% water stock. The stock of Bhatsa, which supplies 55% of the total annual water requirement, is at 14.94%, up from 7% last year at this time. In Tansa, the water level is 31.42%, which was 10% last year at this time; Modak Sagar was at 38%, compared to 20% last year at this time. Upper Vaitarna’s water level is 0%, same as last year. Middle Vaitarna has 13.54% stock, against 11% last year.

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Powai Lake that supplies water to the civic body for non-potable purposes overflowed on June 12. Last year, it got full on July 5. The seven lakes are bifurcated into two systems – the Vaitarna system supplies to the western suburbs and the island city, and the Bhatsa system supplies to the eastern suburbs. The lakes are situated in Mumbai as well as neighbouring Thane and Palghar districts.

A BMC official from the hydraulics department said, “The rain forecast for this year is good, and it looks like there might be no need for any water cut. However, we are monitoring the situation. A decision will be taken in the coming days based on the rain pattern in July.”

The city experienced 20% water cut last year in August 2020, amid the Covid outbreak owing to low level of water storage in the lakes. BMC chief Iqbal Singh Chahal had also prepared a backup plan to bring water to Mumbai from Bhandardara dam in Ahmednagar, if required. Before 2020, no water cut was imposed in 2019, owing to good rainfall in catchment areas. The BMC had imposed a 10% water cut in 2018, a 20% cut in 2016 and a 25% cut in 2014.

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