Two of the seven lakes supplying water to Mumbai have reached their lowest drawable levels
The rain gods haven't been kind to Mumbai so far this year, and if their intransigence continues for another week or so, Mumbai will see water cuts. Senior officials from the BMC said 10% water cuts may be imposed from the first week of July itself.
Of the seven lakes which supply water to the city, two (Middle and Upper Vaitarna) are at their lowest drawable level. As of yesterday, the seven lakes combined held 1.43 lakh million litres of water stock, which is less than half of the 3 lakh million litres that was there on June 24 last year.
The current stock will last only till July end, and the city requires at least 12-13 lakh million litres for water to be supplied throughout the year without cuts. The BMC supplies 3,450 million litres of water daily to the city against the requirement of about 4,200 million litres.
“It is a serious issue and if there is no rain for the next few days, we will have to impose water cuts. People have to start saving water from today itself.” said a senior civic official. The civic body is also preparing a ‘save water’ campaign, which will be run through newspaper advertisements and hoardings.
“Water cuts will, of course, not be necessary if it starts raining properly soon. We are hoping the situation will improve in the coming weeks,” added the official.
The BMC is also exploring the cloud seeding option. It has already invited pre-bid tenders and two companies have reportedly shown interest in the experiment, which will happen — if at all it does — only in a month.
The last cloud seeding experiments, conducted in 2009, had failed because of the lack of technical information. The BMC had spent Rs 9 crore on 116 such experiments, most of which yielded no results.
BMC’s Hydraulic Engineer Ramesh Bambale, who heads the civic water department, refused to comment.