The city has been witnessing rain showers for a few days, but the six reservoirs that supply drinking water to the city aren’t sufficiently filled. The water level in three lakes is depleting rapidly, and is just a metre away from reaching the lowest drawable level. This has prompted the BMC to impose a 10 per cent water cut from today. The water cut is likely to last at least another two months.
The city receives 3,350 million litres of water from six reservoirs — Vihar, Tulsi, Tansa, Modak Sagar, Upper Vaitarna and Bhatsa — of which four are in the neighbouring Thane district. The BMC is worried about the level of three reservoirs, namely Tulsi, Vihar and Upper Vaitarna, and has decided to stop drawing water from them until it rains heavily in the catchment areas.
The three reservoirs share 20 per cent of the total supply, of which Upper Vaitarna supplies 17 per cent, while Vihar and Tulsi supply the remaining 3 per cent.
“Usually we stop supplying water from lakes that reach the lowest drawable level as a precautionary measure. Below drawable level is known as ‘reserve stock’ of water. We cannot touch the water beyond the lowest level unless there is some emergency,” said a senior official from the water department. Officials from the water department are pinning their hopes on the rain. “We are not considering new borewells as that would not meet even one per cent of the city’s requirement,” the official added.
Meanwhile, Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner, refuted suggestions of an artificial rain and desalination project. “We have no plans for cloud seeding at the moment, while desalination is an expensive project,” he said.
The BMC supplies 3,350 million litres of water daily to the city while the requirement is about 4,200 million litres per day. Currently, the total stock in all the six lakes is less than 67,000 million litres. The city requires 13 lakh million litres stock in order to supply water without a cut through the year.