Mumbaikars could face several more weeks of water cuts,with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials admitting that the 10 per cent cut currently in force is likely to continue in August.
With the monsoon continuing to play truant,lake levels have not risen satisfactorily,they said. At present,we have water stored for 130 days, said an engineer from the hydraulic engineering department.
Earlier this month,Additional Municipal Commissioner Mohan Adtani had said that the civic body may not use the expensive cloud seeding method to induce rainfall if the city receives good rain in the coming days. Since then,water availability in the reservoirs has increased marginally,adding six days worth of supply.
Since July 1,the city has been facing a 10 per cent water cut that was extended till the end of the month on July 15. At the time,the civic body had declared that the need for a further cut would be decided in August.
As of July 28,total useful content in all lakes supplying water to Mumbai was 4,03,468 million litres. On the same day in 2011,it stood at 6,26,454 million litres,and in 2010 when a 30 per cent water cut was in force total useful content in all lakes was 5,58,957 million litres.
We are not using water from Bhatsa lake yet; we are saving it for the rest of the year. Right now,we are supplying water from the rainfall received in the Bhatsa river area, said a senior official. He added that an increase in the 10 per cent water cut was unlikely. If we increase the percentage of the water cut now we will have to change the valves and this may damage pipes.
As of Saturday,water content in Bhatsa lake which accounts for 59 per cent of Mumbais water supply was 21,9650 million litres.
Upper Vaitarna,which along with Modak Sagar accounts for 29 per cent of citys water supply,has useful content of 25,650 million litres almost half the amount available in 2010 on the same day when levels were at 44,870 million litres.
Officials also admitted that water storage in the Middle Vaitarna dam,which will be activated in 2013,has been slow. Because of the V-shape of the dam,it takes some time to fill up to the required level but progress is sufficient, said the official.