Delhi Jal Board (DJB) vice-chairman Raghav Chadha on Tuesday said the water utility has outlined a plan to augment supply in Delhi in order to avert a water crisis.
He spoke about the plan at the ongoing CII Delhi Business Week 2020. “The situation is grave at present. Niti Aayog had last year declared that 21 cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, may face severe water scarcity by 2020. In Delhi, efforts are on to rationalise the distribution and ensure consistent supply in the command areas of the water treatment plants (WTPs)” said Chadha.
Parts of Delhi usually faces a water scarcity during the summer months when the demand shoots up exponentially.
Currently, of the nine treatment plants in Delhi, seven depend on river water (Ravi-Beas and Yamuna) that comes from Haryana. The remaining two plants in east Delhi get Ganga water from Muradnagar in Uttar Pradesh. Currently, potable water at its optimum production is about 935MGD (million gallons per day) of which 90MGD is from groundwater resources, he said.
He added that for efficient water auditing and minimising leakage losses, DJB has considered installing bulk flow meters in the supply infrastructure. “Around 3,000 flow meters will be installed, and 90% of them have been installed already. This will help in better management and rationalisation along with reduction in loss of potable water,” said Chadha.
According to a study by the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) , estimates of which were released during the CII event, groundwater level in Delhi is depleting at a rate of 10cm a year. By 2025, the water requirement of Delhi is likely to go up to 1140 MGD ( going by the rate of 44 MGD per person per day).
He also said rainwater harvesting is more than necessary in Delhi to augment the city’s water table, which has been depleting over the years.
“It’s high time that all buildings, wherever feasible, installed rainwater harvesting (RWH) structures. Recently, rain centres have been established in the east district. Besides these, a 10% rebate in the total monthly water bill is being given to consumers who have functional RWH systems,” he said.
He also listed other measures being taken for augmenting supply such as rejuvenation of river Yamuna through in situ treatment of drains, including Shahdara, Barapullah and Badshahpur drains, upgrade of sewage treatment plants (STPs) and laying of the sewerage network in 1,799 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, among others.
Chadha also raised a set of challenges being faced by the DJB such as equitable distribution, given the increasing population and the limited resources; misuse of water by residents; and conservation of scarce natural water resources.