Delhi can expect to unlock over 150 million gallons of water per day as the Delhi Chief Minister and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) chairperson, Arvind Kejriwal, cleared four projects for water augmentation. The biggest of the four projects, the deadline for which is March, is touted to be ground water extraction from the Yamuna floodplains between Palla and Jaitpur.
The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) has identified six locations on the flood plains from where water can be safely extracted. Of these six locations, DJB is already extracting water at two locations in Palla to the tune of around 20 MGD. An additional 65 MGD can be extracted from the four remaining locations.
Pilferage remains a concern
The Delhi government has the capability of providing 900 million gallons of water daily (MGD) to residents as opposed to an estimated demand of 1,200 MGD. An additional 150 MGD will help address the increasing demand but only if the water utility works on plugging leakages and pilferage. According to official estimates, close to 40 per cent of water is lost before being supplied.
Apart from the Yamuna floodplains, the DJB has also identified fresh water pockets in Dwarka. A consultant appointed to assess the viability of water extraction said over 5 MGD of water can be extracted from these areas.
Borewells will also be set up in some areas of north and east Delhi, where the water table is high. According to a CGWB report, there are several locations in north and east Delhi where the water table is higher than 10 metres.
In a meeting with MLAs from these areas, Kejriwal asked them to help DJB identify locations for bores.
“Additional bores can also be done in north and east Delhi areas where water table is high and the problem of ammonia can be done away with. These bores will make these areas self sufficient. The extra water can be then supplied to other areas of the capital,” said Kejriwal.