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Monday, July 9, 2012

TRACKING THE MONSOON Scarce rain puts city in deep water Water Cut Will Prevail If Lake Levels Don’t Go Up By July 15

The recent bouts of rainfall in the city have done nothing to mitigate its looming water problems. The catchment areas of the lakes that supply water to Mumbai have not filled up to satisfactory levels, civic officials say. With scarcity increasing, the BMC 

is likely to extend its 10% water cut beyond July 15. 
    "The water situation hasn't improved at all," said additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota. "It is a cause for concern. We will review lake levels on July 15 and then take a call on whether to extend the water cut." 
    The BMC had pinned its 
hopes on July rainfall, since the last few years' trend suggested that lake levels improve in the month. "But the trend was not visible this year," said a senior civic official. 
    Of the six lakes, the civic administration is particularly concerned about Upper Vaitarna, where there is no useable water at present. While the minimum required level to draw water is 595.44 metres, the current level is 593.94 metres. A civic source said that since the 10% water cut was imposed on July 1, the lake's stock has increased, with the civic body managing to save 15 days' water. 
    Mumbai needs 3,450 million litres of water per day. To meet this need, the lakes collectively must have a stock of at least 1,254,000 million litres per year. In comparison, the present (as of July 9) collective stock is 129,646 million litres. As of July 9 last year, the collective stock of the lakes was 206,522 million litres. 
    By imposing the water cut, the BMC has reduced water supply from four lakes—Bhatsa, Modak Sagar, Tansa and Upper Vaitarna. In terms of supply timings, the cut amounts to 25 minutes for a four-hour supply. "Unless rainfall increases in the next few days, water cuts will be here to stay," a civic official said.





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