Preliminary analysis of a water augmentation programme, in which a 25-acre pond was created on the Yamuna floodplains in North Delhi’s Palla to store overflow from the river, shows the groundwater table has risen by nearly 5 feet. While a more detailed analysis is awaited at the end of monsoon in September, an official associated with the project said the preliminary findings show the city’s water supply can be augmented through the project.
“It looks like the water level has risen by 1-1.5 metre in and around the pond area, which is substantial. The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) will tap this for augmentation of water supply at the end of the project,” said a Delhi government official.
The pilot project, steered by the Irrigation and Flood Control Department (I&FC), was launched by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in August last year, and aims to store overflowing water from the river in shallow reservoirs on the floodplains.
In the creation of a 25-acre reservoir, top soil of the area was removed up to a depth of 1.7 metres, in order to have faster and higher absorption of water into the soil, which can be later extracted through borewells to meet the growing water demand of the capital. The water demand at present is around 1,150 million gallons per day (MGD) against a supply capacity of around 950 MGD.
The Delhi government official said that in the floodplain area away from the 25-acre reservoir, or the non-pond area, the water table had risen by around 0.3 to 0.4 metres, comparatively lower than the level recorded in and around the reservoir.
Meanwhile, addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Delhi Business Week on Tuesday, DJB vice-chairman Raghav Chadha said rain water harvesting was necessary in Delhi as the city’s water table was depleting.
“Recently, rain centres have been established in the East district. These will be managed by DJB officials to facilitate implementation of rain water harvesting systems…. 10% rebate on the monthly water bill is being given to consumers who have functional systems as per DJB guidelines,” he said.
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