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Mumbai's water crisis worsens: BMC stops drawing water from three lakes

Three lakes -- Middle and Upper Vaitarna, and Vihar Lake -- supplying water to Mumbai have fallen below the lowest drawable limits forcing the civic authorities to stop drawing water from them

The erratic monsoon has led to Mumbai's water crisis worsening with the the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) not being able to draw water from three lakes.

After Middle and Upper Vaitarna, water level at Vihar Lake is now way below the lowest drawable level and been made unavailable. Mumbai's civic body can thus draw water from only four lakes -- Modak Sagar, Tansa, Tulsi and Bhatsa.

On Thursday, the Vihar lake level was at 73.89 metres, below the lowest drawable limit of 73.92.

Adding to BMC's worry is tha fact that Tansa Lake is just two metre above the lowest drawable level, whereas Tulsi is just 3 metres and Bhatsa is almost 4 metre above the lowest drawable level. Only Modak Sagar will be able to continue to supply water to the city if there is no rain in the next few days.

As of June 26, all lakes combined had 1.37 lakh million litres of water stock as against 3.24 lakh million litre last year.

“The civic body has to take the unpleasant decision about water cuts without wasting time as we can’t generate water,” said Anand Deodhar, retired hydraulic engineer of the BMC.

“We have not decided yet but we have to impose water cut,” said Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner and in-charge of water department.

The city requires at least 12-13 lakh million litres in all lakes to supply water throughout the year without cut. The BMC, supplies 3,450 million litre water daily to the city while the city’s requirement is about 4,200 million litre per day.


Water stock of the last five years as on June 26:

Total water stock as on July 26, 2014: 1, 37,055 million litres

Total water stock as on July 26, 2013: 3, 24,539 million litres

Total water stock as on July 26, 2012: 71,320 million litres

Total water stock as on July 26, 2011: 1, 496, 81 million litres

Total water stock as on July 26, 2010: 54,940 million litres

Total water stock as on July 26, 2009: 1, 74,512 million litres

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