Mumbai: Lake levels improve, BMC to review water cuts

Mumbai: The water level in seven lakes, which provide water to the city, has jumped to 15.70% on Friday morning, which is almost 6.01% more than last year during the same period. However, this does not help the maximum city to escape water cut, at least not for now.

As the city only has drinking water for the next 55-60 days, for now, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said that it will take stock of and review the lake levels in the next one to two weeks to ascertain if there will be a need for water cuts this year. However, a water cut is not on the cards as of now, civic officials said.

“On or after June 30, we will hold a review/stock-taking meeting wherein the lake level stock will be considered for deciding whether any water cut needs to be announced or not or we will wait for another month. Though the catchment areas have not got much rainfall yet this month, the forecast is good and we hope that the lake level will improve. Hence, we are expecting that in the one or two weeks, there will be good rainfall in the catchment areas improving the amount of potable water collected in the lakes," said a senior official from the BMC's hydraulic department.

Last year city feared to face 20% water cuts during the month of August. While the cuts were announced, rainfall increased, resulting in lake levels reaching a little over 99%. Hence the civic body cancelled the water cuts.

According to data shared by BMC, the seven lakes have 2,27,275 million litres of water or 15.70% as recorded on Friday until 6 am, against the full capacity of the lakes, which is around 14.47 lakh million litres. The lake levels on June 25, 2020, was 1,40,203 million litres, whereas it was 75,936 million litres on June 25, 2019.

Of the seven lakes, five are situated in Mumbai and neighbouring Thane and Palghar districts. However, only Tulsi and Vihar lakes – located inside the city – are more than half-filled recording a lake level of 73.33% and 61.97% respectively. The remaining five lakes are yet to get substantial rainfall; none of them has even reached 40% of their full capacity as of Friday, June 25.

The lakes are bifurcated into two systems: The Vaitarna system supplies water to the western suburbs and the island city, while the Bhatsa system provides water to the eastern suburbs. The civic body supplies 3,850 million litres of water daily against the city’s demand of 4,200 million litres.

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