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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Delhi reels under water crisis as Yamuna level dips, rain falls short

Data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) shows that rainfall in northwest India has been below normal levels so far this year.

Written by Shivam Patel | New Delhi |
Updated: March 7, 2021 4:36:19 am
delhi driniking water, yamuna water level, Delhi Jal Board, water crisis in Delhi, delhi news, indian expressThe seasonal water flow of around 5 lakh cusec, which Delhi receives from Haryana at this time of the year through the river, has been cut to 2.5 lakh cusec, officials said. (Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Water level in the Yamuna has reduced significantly since a week due to poor rainfall and beginning of the crop season in Haryana, which has severely impacted the water supply in parts of the capital.

Reduction in water levels is also increasing the concentration of pollutants, as a result of which two water treatment plants which cater to central, north and Delhi Cantonment areas have curtailed their water production by around 30%, senior officials of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) told The Indian Express.

The seasonal water flow of around 5 lakh cusec, which Delhi receives from Haryana at this time of the year through the river, has been cut to 2.5 lakh cusec, officials said.

“The river looks very dry in certain areas and this is mainly because we had poor rainfall in September and October, and in subsequent months this time… In Haryana, it is also the start of crop season and authorities there too are complaining about lack of water available to them for irrigation,” a DJB official said.

Data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) shows that rainfall in northwest India has been below normal levels so far this year.

R K Jenamani, senior scientist at the IMD, said that in January, against the normal rainfall amount of 33 mm, northwest India received 28 mm; and in February it was 10 mm against the normal value of 45 mm.

“The showers in the first week of January was the only time significant amount of rain was received so far this year,” he said.

Rainfall in September and October last year in Delhi was also 83% and 100% below normal, as per the IMD.

The DJB official said, “Water supply in the command areas of Chandrawal and Wazirabad water treatment plants, which receive water from the Yamuna, has been affected since about a week. Water is being supplied at low pressure every day, but houses at the tail-end of the pipeline may be receiving less than others. They can avail water tankers by contacting the DJB.”

The official added, “In the previous two years, we did not face such a problem because we received good rainfall in October. Water levels would increase in the river if there was some rainfall. In the meantime, we are working on a strategy to help consumers that are at the tail-end of a pipeline.”

The IMD has forecast light rain in the plains of northwest India on Sunday, along with isolated thunderstorms and hail in parts of Punjab, north Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Under the influence of a fresh Western Disturbance from March 9 onwards, isolated thunderstorms and heavy rain is again forecast in the plains of northwest India.

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