The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Thursday warned of an impending water crisis in Mumbai with water levels in the lakes dipping lower and the civic body using its reserve stock of water, which it said will last till July-end, IANS reported.
“The civic administration has made arrangements of supplying water to the citizens up to July-end using reserve stocks of water,” the agency reported quoting a BMC statement. “All are requested to cooperate and the citizens must use water carefully.”
It said as of Thursday, the amount of water left in all the lakes was 71,574 million litres (4.95%).
The comparative figure last year was 270,668 million litres (18.70%), whereas in 2017 it was 351,081 million litres (24.26%). This indicates a huge shortfall that the citizens are facing this year.
The BMC said it required at least 1,447,363 million litres for its round-the-year supply.
Mumbai’s water supply comes from seven reservoirs: Modak Sagar, Tansa lake, Vihar lake, Tulsi lake, Upper Vaitarna, Bhatsa, and Middle Vaitarna. Water supply was stopped from Upper Vaitarna Lake on June 24 as the water level went below zero. Supply from Middle Vaitarna stopped from June 17 while Bhatsa Lake was drawing water below the lowest limits. Water levels have also touched rock bottom levels in lakes like Modak Sagar, Tansa, Vehar and the tiny Tulsi Lake. Water from Powai Lake is used only for industrial purposes, IANS reported.
Ashok Tewadiya, chief engineer of the BMC’s Hydraulic Engineering Department, said the lakes currently have ample water till the end of July, PTI reported. “Any decision regarding water cuts will be taken by the senior officers of the BMC after deliberations with the officials of the India Meteorological Department,” Tewadiya was quoted as saying.
An unidentified senior civic official said that due to the absence of rain, only 5% water is left in the reservoirs supplying water to Mumbai. “This has prompted the civic administration to use the reserve stock of water for supply,” the official told PTI. “But there is no need to panic as we have sufficient stock of water, which will last till the end of July.” He also added that if there is no rain in the next few weeks, then there would be problems.
The India Meteorological Department had announced that monsoon will officially hit Mumbai on June 25. However, the city has only witnessed dry and humid weather this week.
A report by the Union government’s think tank NITI Ayog said that 21 Indian cities will run out of groundwater by 2020. By 2030, 40% of Indians will have no access to drinking water. Tamil Nadu capital Chennai has experienced a severe water crisis this summer, which the state government has attempted to play down.