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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai water shortage The pain is more than just 10 per cent

Mumbai water shortage: The pain is more than just 10 per cent

Updated on: 19 June,2024 06:48 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Team mid-day |

On paper, the city faces a 10 per cent water cut; but other factors are adding to citizens’ woes

Mumbai water shortage: The pain is more than just 10 per cent

Water tanker service providers say they are struggling to meet the demand of Mumbaikars, crisis will worsen over time

Key Highlights

  1. Housing societies are spending astronomical amounts of money on tanker services
  2. Sources have told mid-day that 10,000 to 20,000 water tankers are catering to Mumbaikars
  3. Residents of Yogi Hills in Mulund West held a protest last week

Housing societies in the eastern and western suburbs are spending astronomical amounts of money on tanker services due to the 10 per cent water cut that is being implemented by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) across the city. Sources have told mid-day that 10,000 to 20,000 water tankers are catering to Mumbaikars every day as the city faces a daily water shortfall of 500 MLD on an average. Residents of Yogi Hills in Mulund West held a protest last week to highlight the water issue their housing complex has been facing. They have been depending on water tankers to meet their needs.


Water containers outside homes on Tuesday at Juhu Koliwada, which has been facing inadequate water supply for a month. Pic/Anurag Ahire
Water containers outside homes on Tuesday at Juhu Koliwada, which has been facing inadequate water supply for a month. Pic/Anurag Ahire



Yogi Hills complex was constructed in 1996. The BMC has implemented a system called an auxiliary water system for the group of societies, which means the water supplied from the mains is stored in a tank and then distributed. Due to water cuts, the pressure is low. Earlier, the tank would get filled in six hours. Now this takes twice as much time, leading to problems. Some societies are left without water at all. The BMC is saying that they are supplying water as per the required MLD. Residents suggested that instead of a 12-hour gap, water could be refilled in eight hours. As the pressure is low, residents are paying high electricity power bills because pumps are being operated for twice the usual duration,” said Bharat J Soni, secretary, Hillside Residents' Welfare Association (HIRWA).


Water pipes at the Juhu Koliwada area, which has faced inadequate water supply for a month, on Tuesday. Pic/Anurag Ahire
Water pipes at the Juhu Koliwada area, which has faced inadequate water supply for a month, on Tuesday. Pic/Anurag Ahire

“This is the reason residents gathered on the streets to protest against the water cut. We tried to reach out to the sitting Member of Parliament Sanjay Dina Patil, but since he was in New Delhi, his daughter Rajool Patil visited the society and heard the residents’ grievances,” he added. Yogi Hills resident Girdhar Abichandani said, “We have been facing problems since October, but they have intensified. We have approached the BMC, but they are saying nothing can be done. The water pressure suddenly drops and it takes a long time to fill water tanks. We end up spending society funds amounting to about Rs 15,000 per month on tanker water.”

No notice

Ritesh Khedekar, a Kandivli East resident, claimed his area had been issued no warning about the water cut. “The day before [Monday], the supply of water to the area was suddenly cut off. Initially, we thought that the supply would resume in some time but that wasn’t the case. Luckily, the water filter had a storage unit which is how we are at least getting drinking water but it is small and the water is about to run out.” Prashik Kamble, another Kandivli East resident, said, “Our water supply was cut yesterday [Monday] and hasn't resumed yet. No notification, no warning. Our society's tank is also about to run out of water and we have called in a tanker which is expected to come late at night.”

On an average, between 10,000 to 20,000 water tankers cater to the city daily
On an average, between 10,000 to 20,000 water tankers cater to the city daily

Juhu Koliwada situation

Residents of Om Sai Nagar in Juhu Koliwada have been dealing with inadequate water supply for the past month. “After a month of not receiving water, the supply was restored recently. Water is available from 9 am to 10 am and 12.30 pm to 1 pm. When there was no water, BMC tankers would come by.  But, they too were proving insufficient,” resident Smita Panchal said. “Though the water supply has been back for two or three days, it doesn’t last for more than 30 to 40 minutes and the pressure is incredibly low, leading to delays in filling buckets,” she added.

Sunil Mangela, another resident, said, “The water supply was started following MLA Ameet Satam’s intervention. However, the local authorities are supplying less water than usual, citing various technical reasons. Anish Makwana, a former corporator, said that according to BMC officials, the water level in reservoirs is low.  They are also saying water pressure is low.”

‘Can’t meet demand’

“Mumbai is facing an average shortfall of about 500 MLD of water per day and on an average between 10,000 to 20,000 water tankers are supplied. This is just Mumbai city. There are townships around Mumbai where there are different equations. We provide potable and non-potable water in tankers. While potable tanker water costs between Rs 900 to Rs 1,200 as per standard industry rates, non-potable tanker water costs around R1,000,” Ankur Sharma, spokesperson for Mumbai Water Tankers Association.

“We need to pray that the water crisis of Mumbai does not turn into the water crisis of the severity of Delhi. There has been a huge spike in the demand for tanker water as there have been no rains till mid-June and the heat wave. We need to work on developing sources of water for Mumbai because the crisis will keep on increasing every year. We, the stakeholders in the water tanker industry, have been facing a lot of pressure to handle the demand of water in Mumbai. There are a huge number of calls and requests which we are unable to handle given our low manpower and resources. There are calls from resident associations and government authorities, but it should be kept in mind that we are also dependent on the civic body. We should construct new dams and reservoirs as they are needed to tide over the crisis. We are a very small industry but have been trying to fulfil demand as much as possible. We have a limited number of drivers and helpers as many are still returning from their hometowns. Workers are doing double shifts,” Sharma added.

Official Speak

“At present, a 10 per cent water cut is imposed in the city. So, there is a possibility of water problems in the areas at the end of the supply as well as in elevated spots,” Purushottam Malwade, hydraulic engineer, BMC, told mid-day. Another official claimed that due to low water levels in reservoirs, the water supply was automatically reduced, which could cause a disturbance in the supply mainly in elevated and remote areas. 

500 MLD
Average water shortfall faced by the city every day

Rs 15,000
Monthly amount spent on tanker water by Yogi Hills management

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