With the Jamuna drying up under the scorching sun and Haryana not responding to SOS calls, Delhi authorities are meeting the demand for drinking water in several areas, officials said on Saturday.
The water level of Wazirabad pond has come down to 670.70 feet, which is the lowest this year. On Thursday it was 671.80 feet.
The level of the pond dropped to 667 feet on July 11 last year, prompting the Delhi Water Board (DJB) to persuade Haryana to go to the Supreme Court seeking directions to release excess water into the Jamuna.
The DJB has written to the Haryana Irrigation Department three times in a fortnight – May 12, May 3 and April 30.
“Even the flow is fluctuating through CLC (Carrier-Lined Channel) and DSB (Delhi Sub-Branch). This will adversely affect water production. Due to the peak summer, the need for water is even greater, ”reads the SOS sent on Thursday.
“It has been requested to supply additional 150 cusecs of raw water through DD-8 / river route to ensure that 120 cusecs of raw water reaches Wazirabad pond during this crisis till the onset of monsoon,” it said.
According to officials, no response was received from the neighboring state, which left Delhi for itself.
The production capacity of Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Okhla water treatment plants has come down to 85 percent.
It could drop another 75 percent on Sunday, DJB officials said on condition of anonymity.
“We have adopted water rationing and so far we have been able to meet the demand. However, if Haryana does not respond and release excess water into the river, the situation could get worse, ”the official said.
In line with its summer action plan, the DJB has deployed additional tankers to fill the water shortage areas and is trying to increase water supply through tube wells.
The Delhi government said last month that it would supply about 1,000 million gallons of drinking water per day during the summer season, up from 935 MGD previously to meet growing demand.
It said 1,196 water tankers would be deployed across the capital during the peak season (April-July) to curb water scarcity.
Haryana supplies a total of 610 million gallons of water per day to Delhi through two canals – CLC and DSB – and the Jamuna.
CLC and DSB supply water from Hathni Kund through Munak Canal and Bhakra Beas Management Board.
In addition, Delhi receives 253 MGD from Uttar Pradesh through the Upper Ganga Canal, and 90 MGD is taken from Rani Koop and tube wells installed across the city.
The capacity of Chandrawal and Wazirabad water treatment plants is 90 MGD and 135 MGD respectively.
The two plants draw raw water from the Wazirabad pond, purify it and supply it to Delhi Cantonment and New Delhi Municipal Council areas including North-East Delhi, West Delhi, North Delhi, Central Delhi, South Delhi.
Delhi needs about 1,200 MGD of water, while DJB supplies about 950 MGD
The government has set a target of increasing water supply to 1,180 MGD by June 2023.
A scorching heat wave turned Delhi into a hot cold drone on Saturday, pushing the mercury at 47.2 degrees Celsius in Mungeshpur and 47 degrees Celsius in Najafgarh.
The Safdarjung Observatory, Delhi’s base station, recorded a maximum temperature of 44.2 degrees Celsius, five notches above normal and still the highest this season.
Weather forecasters said Sunday’s heatwave spell is set to get worse.
An ‘orange’ warning was issued on Sunday to warn people about the intense heat wave.
IMD uses four color codes for weather warning – green (no action required), yellow (watch and stay updated), orange (be prepared) and red (take action).