With the monsoon playing truant, the 20% water cut currently in place in the city is here to stay. Following dismal showers, the city’s water stock is still at 11.45 lakh litres instead of the required 14 lakh. The BMC is now waiting to hear from the state government on whether it can use the reserve stock from Bhatsa and Middle Vaitarna dams to meet the deficit.
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Following dismal showers, the city’s water stock is still at 11.45 lakh litres instead of the required 14 lakh. Representation pic
Commenting on the water-cuts, Ashok Tawadiya, a hydraulic engineer with the BMC said, “We were supposed to take a decision on the water cut in October. But since there has been very little rise in lake levels, we have not taken a decision to revoke it. The cut will stay.”
On being asked about solutions, Tawadiya said they were waiting to hear from the state irrigation department since it exercised control over Bhatsa and Vaitarna. Every dam has a reserved stock (referred to as a ‘carry over’) meant for use in a crisis. If the state government decides to allow BMC to use this reserve stock, the city could get some relief.
Small rise in water levels
The city gets its water supply through seven lakes. Due to meager rainfall in their catchment areas, all the lakes have seen only a small rise in water levels. After receiving decent rainfall in June, both July and August went dry. Rains picked up a little during September but have taken a backseat for the past week or so.
Although Modak Sagar and Tulsi lakes overflowed after recent rains, they are small lakes and cannot ensure robust water supply. The Bhatsa and Vaitarna water systems make up for the largest stocks required by the city. Neither of these lakes have shown a sufficient rise in their water levels.
Upper Vaitarna had a stock of 2.27 lakh litres until October last year, while this year it is at 1.33 lakh litres. Bhatsa, the largest supplier of water to the city, has a total stock of 5.36 lakh litres as against 7 lakh litres last year.
Even so, officials from the Indian Meteorological Department have not predicted any significant rainfall for Mumbai in the next few days but have also maintained that monsoon has not yet withdrawn from the city.