Water supply: Down to 13 percent, Mumbai is running on reserve

Updated: May 18, 2019, 07:44 IST | Chetna Sadadekar | Mumbai

With Upper Vaitarna lake's live water stock hitting zero, BMC has been using precious reserve stock for the last one week

BMC had written to the state government to allow the use of Upper Vaitarna and Bhatsa's reserve stock and received the nod for it earlier this month. Representational Pic
BMC had written to the state government to allow the use of Upper Vaitarna and Bhatsa's reserve stock and received the nod for it earlier this month. Representational Pic

To ensure the city does not have to suffer further water cuts, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has dipped into its reserve stock in May, a month earlier than usual. Stock from the Upper Vaitarna reservoir is being utilised since last week to keep up BMC's daily water supply levels for the city at 3,550 million litres. The civic body had planned to use water from Upper Vaitarna and Bhatsa to avoid any situation of panic in case of a delayed monsoon.

The useful live content of Upper Vaitarna has fallen to zero. BMC had written to the state government to allow the use of the Upper Vaitarna and Bhatsa's reserve stock and received the nod for it earlier this month. Immediately after the permissions came in, BMC made plans to use the stock to avoid any panic situation that could grip the city in case of a delayed monsoon.

Mumbai Water

'Rare' occasion

The city's water levels have dipped to 13 per cent leaving BMC with a total of 1,92,005 million litres of usable water and an additional reserve stock of 1,70,000 million litres.

A senior civic official said, "Depending on the situation, a decision is taken to use the reserve stock. Normally, we require reserve stock from Bhatsa around June if it is not raining heavily over there. However, it is very rare for us to need reserves from the Vaitarna system. Using those from May onwards is a rare occasion." Chief engineer of the hydraulic department, Ashok Tawadia, remained unavailable for comment.

While Bhatsa's reserve stock of 1 lakh million litres has not been touched yet, Upper Vaitarna's 70,000 million litres has been put to use since last week. The stock is supposed to last for an additional 19 days.

Mumbai Water

Water cut to continue

When there is no water cut, BMC supplies 3,850 million litres of water daily to the city. However, the 10 percent water cut since October 2018 has brought down the daily supply to 3,550 million litres. While the situation isn't grim at all, the current water cut will continue, said officials.

But, BMC's hydraulic department has been able to stock and plan water availability, so no additional water cuts would be required until the end of July, revealed civic sources.

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