The rainfall that Mumbai has received over the last few days has substantially increased water levels in lakes that supply water to the city. Seven lakes that supply water to Mumbai have a stock of 1.73 lakh million litres as on July 4. From June 27, lakes have received over one lakh million litres of water. However, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has termed the situation “slightly” better and that lifting of the current water cut cannot be considered now.
According to figures available with the Hydraulic Engineering department, the current water stock is 12.02 per cent of the lakes’ full capacity. Officials said that the catchment area of lakes is not getting very good rainfall. In the last one week, Vehar and Tulsi lakes, located in city limits at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, have received maximum rainfall of 1,158 mm and 1,496 mm, respectively. According to the civic body, Tulsi’s water level is 137.11 metres and Vehar has 76.54 metres as against their full capacity of 139.17 metres and 80.12 metres, respectively.
Mumbai is currently going through a 10 per cent water cut and 15 per cent in duration of supply since November last year. The water cut was imposed after lake levels dipped due to insufficient rains.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Hydraulic Engineering department chief engineer Ashok Tawadia explained, “Though catchment area of lakes have received decent rainfall and levels have reached 12.02 per cent, the quantity is far less compared to last year on July 4. To reconsider the water cut imposed in the city, lakes should have about 23 per cent water stock. The city has received more rain than catchment area of lakes.”
While on July 4, 2018 the lakes had 3.25 million littres (22.45 per cent) of water stock, in 2017 on the same day the situation was much better with 6.22 million litres of water (43.01 per cent). There are seven lakes – Vehar, Tulsi, Tansa, Modak Sagar, Upper Vaitarna, Bhatsa and Middle Vaitarna -that supply about 3,750 million litres water daily when there is normal supply. The full capacity of these lakes is 14.47 lakh million litres.
The city was heading towards a water crisis after the delayed monsoon. On June 27, lake levels had reached the lowest with only 4.95 per cent water stock left.