Amid fears of El-Nino affecting the Indian sub-continent, the latest data released by the BMC shows that water in the city lakes will barely last another month. Data with the civic water supply department shows that combined level of usable water from six lakes — Modak Sagar, Upper Vaitarna, Tansa, Vihar, Tulsi and Bhatsa — stands at 1.73 lakh million litres.
The level of upper Vaitarna stands at 595.24 m, which is lesser than its lower limit of 595.44 m, because of which the usable content stands at zero. The Bhatsa lake, which accounts for 59 per cent of Mumbai’s water supply, at present stands at 110.93 m, inching closer to its lower limit of 104.90 m. During monsoon, it should reach its maximum limit of 142.1 m to ensure sufficient water supply to the city for the rest of the year.
A senior official from the water supply department said, “The level of Vaitarna lake has reduced considerably, which is reflecting on upper and middle Vaitarna as well, where the usable content is zero. We are expecting the current levels to be sufficient for another month. To keep up with the city’s demands, it is crucial we have a good season of rainfall.”
Tulsi, Vihar and Tansa lakes account for nearly 10 per cent of the city’s water supply. Their water levels are at 134 m, 74 m and 120 m, respectively, closer to their lower limits of 131 m, 73 m and 118 m, respectively. The usable content in these three lakes stand at 2,637, 1,198 and 21,664 million litres, respectively. Anticipating insufficient rainfall, the corporation is in the process of issuing tenders for cloud-seeding. Cloud-seeding is a process of aerially injecting hydroscopic material into rain clouds to induce rainfall. The technology, if used, is expected to dent the civic body’s budget by about Rs 15 to 20 crore.