Only 28% stock in seven lakes supplying water to Mumbai

BMC says will wait till August, no plans yet for water cuts
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Published on Jul 22, 2020 12:10 AM IST
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ByMehul R Thakkar, Mumbai

Despite heavy rain over the past month, the water stock in the seven lakes supplying water to Mumbai was just 28% on July 21, which could last 109 days.

The stock was 52.88% of its full capacity on July 21, 2019, and in 2018, it was even better, with 78% stock recorded on the same day.

Though there has been good rainfall in the city, the catchment areas of the lakes and dams have not received much rainfall, said civic officials. Mumbai gets its water from the lakes and dams located in the city as well as the neighbouring Thane and Palghar districts.

According to the estimates, the city has water supply for around 109 days, with about two months of monsoon remaining.

According to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials, they are closely monitoring the situation, and no decision on water cuts has been taken for Mumbai considering the ongoing crisis due to Covid-19.

According to data shared by BMC, the seven lakes have 4.08 lakh million litres of water or 28.55% as recorded on Tuesday, against the full capacity, which is around 14.47 lakh million litres.

The Bhatsa dam, which caters to 55% of the city’s total water requirement, stood at 32.17% of the total capacity compared to 48.60% at this time in 2019.

The lakes and dam reservoirs that supply drinking water to Mumbai are Tulsi, Tansa, Vihar, Bhatsa, Modak Sagar, Upper Vaitarna, and Middle Vaitarna.

The seven lakes are bifurcated into two systems – the Vaitarna system which supplies water to the western suburbs and the island city, and the Bhatsa system which supplies water to the eastern suburbs.

Ajay Rathod, chief engineer of BMC’s hydraulics department, said that the civic body is hopeful that rains will help inprove the water levels,

“There is no plan to impose water cuts for now. We have time till August. The level in the lakes supplying water to Mumbai is less because not much rainfall has been recorded in these catchment areas, though there was good rainfall in the city.”

Whenever there is shortage of water, BMC issues water cuts starting from 10%.

According to BMC officials, despite there being a lockdown imposed, and a large number of commercial establishments, schools, colleges, and offices were shut, the city’s water demand did not go down significantly.

“We have noticed that the consumption of water in the residential category has increased this year owing to people being home during the lockdown. So, in a way it has covered up to meet annual consumption every year by the city,” said a BMC official.

Of the total required rainfall for the year, 15% is expected in June, 35% in July and August, followed by 15% in September. The civic body manages to supply 3,750 million litres of water daily against the city’s demand for 4,200 million litres.

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