Two of the six major lakes, Upper Vaitarna and Vihar, which supply water to Mumbai, registered a level of ‘zero’ useful water content as of June 25.
While the Upper Vaitarna, has been registering ‘zero-level’ usable water content since the start of the week, the usable levels of Vihar too reached zero on Wednesday leaving only Modak Sagar, Bhatsa, Tulsi and Tansa lakes to supply water for the city. Water from the new Middle Vaitarna dam which is also to be commissioned for supply this monsoon season remains at ‘zero-level.’
Upper Vaitarna, Vaitarna and Middle Vaitarna and contribute about 26 per cent of the city’s water supply, while the Vihar lake contributes 3 per cent of the water supply.
“We are using the reserve quota currently, but if the city continues to receive poor rainfall, we will have to decide on a water cut,” said deputy municipal commissioner Ramesh Bamble. Last year this time, both Vihar and Upper Vaitarna recorded usable water content levels of 12,499 million litres and 9,390 million litres. The total usable water content of all lakes today stands at about 1.37 lakh million litres of water which is less than half the amount of water content recorded in 2013 at the time which was about 3.24 lakh million litres.
On Wednesday, officials of the civic water supply department said owing to a sluggish start to the monsoon season, Mumbai has received only 20 per cent of the expected rainfall in the month of June,while lake levels continue to decrease. The department has said it will hold a meeting deciding on a possible water-cut for citizens in the coming days. BMC has appealed to the citizens to use water minimally in the event of a shortage in the coming months.
“The city receives maximum rainfall in the months of July and August, but since rainfall was lesser in June, the usable content in the major lakes of the city is decreasing. ,” additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota said.