The Delhi government will rent land from farmers to create ponds in the Yamuna floodplains to store water in temporary ponds and help raise the water table.
The decision was approved by the Cabinet as part of a mega conservation project.
The Cabinet also made rainwater harvesting mandatory in all government buildings.
As part of the pilot project to create small ponds, a 20-km water reservoir will be constructed from Palla to Wazirabad. A five-member committee has been set up to execute the project and negotiate with farmers, and will submit its report on Monday. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 50 crore. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the move will increase the water table and authorities will pump out water in the ponds.
“For the time being, we are starting the project on a small scale…we will run it on a bigger level next year after studying it properly. Water will be retrieved from the bordering areas from Palla to Wazirabad. No cement structures will be used, the project will be implemented in an eco-friendly manner. We will create small ponds to store water overflowing from the Yamuna during monsoon. The stored water will percolate, following which we will identify the rate of percolation and use the information for next year,” said Kejriwal.
The Yamuna enters Delhi near Palla village after traversing about 224 km. Palla Well Field is a perennial source of supply of water to North Delhi.
Several studies conducted by National Institute of Hydrology and IIT-Delhi have stated that the Yamuna floodplains in the capital has a high recharge potential.
According to studies conducted by the Delhi Jal Board, the Yamuna floodplain is spread over 1,000 acres and has the capacity to store 2,100 million gallons of water in each flooding cycle. The DJB expects 15 cycles of flooding during monsoons.
For the time being, ponds will be created between Palla and Wazirabad, where the quality of water is also the best.