The stock in the seven lakes that supply water to Mumbai stood at 26% of their total capacity on Sunday. This is the lowest amount of water detected on April 7 in the last three years, according to The Times of India.
The total stock in the seven lakes – Bhatsa, Tulsi, Vihar, Middle Vaitarna, Modak Sagar, Tansa and Upper Vaitarna – was 3.74 lakh million litres on April 7. In 2017 and 2018, the total stock in the reservoirs on the same date was 5.66 lakh million litres and 5.59 lakh million litres, which is about 39% of the total capacity. Scroll.in has not independently verified the data.
Bhatsa lake, which supplies the most water to Mumbai, is 26% full now, while Tulsi lake in North Mumbai has 42% stock. Upper Vaitarna and Vihar lakes are 20% full.
An unidentified civic official said they are closely monitoring the situation. Civic officials are confident that the city will be able to manage its water needs this season. However, private weather forecasting service Skymet has forecast a “below normal” southwest monsoon this year.
The official said civic administrators had drafted a strategy last year following poor rains to reserve water stocks till the next monsoon. Bhatsa lake has 2.24 lakh million litres of reserve stock while Upper Vaitarna has 1.24 lakh million litres, which may be used if required, according to the official.
However, water from the Bhatsa is also supplied to neighbouring municipal corporations like Thane and Bhiwandi. An approval from the state government would be required to use the reserve stock of Bhatsa, the official said.
Mumbai is in the midst of a water crisis – the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ordered a 10% water cut and a 15% cut in water supply timings in November 2018. The corporation had said that the cut would remain in place till monsoon in 2019. When the civic body announced these cuts, the total stock in the lakes stood at 76% of the capacity, compared to 92% in 2017, according to the report.