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Thursday, June 23: After a hot summer, June usually brings the sweet respite of monsoon rains every year for Mumbai to quench the thirst of a parched city. However, this year’s monsoon has been a bit strange. Since the beginning of this month, the Mumbai city and suburbs have noted large deficiencies in rainfall, with most monitoring stations, including the base station at Santacruz, receiving only half of the average precipitation amount for this period, as per data by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Now, in a shocking turn of events, data from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has indicated a possible shortage of potable water in Mumbai, with water stocks to last the city only 38 days, a report by the Times of India has shown.

While Mumbai has witnessed some good spells of rain since last week, the catchment lakes in and around the city have suffered a distinct lack of continuous rainfall. These lifelines of the city catch and supply fresh water to the region, and their water stocks have now dipped to below 10 per cent of the required amounts.

However, there is hope, as the entire Konkan belt — which includes the city of Mumbai — is slated to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall in isolated areas over the next five days, according to IMD forecasts. This has also resulted in the city being put under a yellow watch status advising residents to ‘be updated’ till Saturday, June 25.

To go without a water cut, Mumbai must have at least 14.47 lakh million litres of water in reserve by October 1. However, current stocks lie at a meagre 1.43 million litres in the seven lakes of the city. For reference, last June’s total water stocks stood at 2 lakh million litres or roughly 15%.

Bhatsa, Tulsi, Vihar, Upper and Middle Vaitarna, Modak Sagar and Tansa reservoirs usually supply Mumbaikars with an average of around 3,750 million litres of water daily. Bhatsa supplies almost half of this total amount.

BMC officials are hopeful that this week’s rain will help replenish the water stocks in the coming days and pull the city out of this precarious situation.


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