Delhi struggles to meet water demand amid heatwave

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Delhi struggles to meet water demand amid heatwave

With the Yamuna drying up under the blazing sun and Haryana not responding to SOS calls, authorities in Delhi are barely meeting the drinking water demand in several areas, officials said on Saturday.

The level in the Wazirabad pond has dropped to 670.70 feet, the lowest level this year. It was 671.80 feet on Thursday.

The pond level had dropped to 667 feet on July 11 last year and led to the Delhi Jal Board DJB moving the Supreme Court to ask the Supreme Court of Haryana to release more water in the Yamuna.

The DJB has written to the Haryana Irrigation Department in a fortnight on May 12, May 3 and April 30.

Even the flow through CLC Carrier-Lined Channel and DSB Delhi Sub-Branch is fluctuating. The lifting of 120 cusec of water from the Wazirabad pond is affected due to low pond level. It is requested to supply 150 cusec of raw water via the DD 8 river route, so as to ensure that 120 cusec of raw water reaches the Wazirabad pond in this time of crisis, until the arrival of monsoon, it read.

According to officials, there has been no response from the neighbouring state, leaving Delhi to fend for itself.

The production capacity at Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Okhla water treatment plants has been reduced to 85 per cent.

It could drop to 75 per cent on Sunday, a DJB official said on condition of anonymity.

We have resorted to water rationing and have been able to meet the demand so far. The situation could worsen if Haryana doesn't respond and releases more water in the river, the official said.

Adhering to its Summer Action Plan, the DJB has deployed additional tankers to cater to areas facing water shortages and is trying to increase water supply through tube wells.

The Delhi government said last month it will provide around 1,000 million gallons of drinking water a day during the summer season, against 935 MGD earlier in the day to meet the rising demand.

It had said 1,198 water tankers would be deployed across the capital during the peak season in April-July to prevent water scarcity.

Haryana supplies a total of 610 million gallons of water a day to Delhi through two canals -- CLC and DSB -- and the Yamuna.

The CLC and the DSB are provided water from Hathni Kund via the Munak canal and the Bhakra Beas Management Board.

Delhi receives 253 MGD from Uttar Pradesh through the Upper Ganga Canal, and 90 MGD is drawn from ranney wells and tube wells installed across the city.

The water treatment plants of Chandrawal and Wazirabad have a capacity of 90 MGD and 135 MGD.

The two plants lift raw water from the Wazirabad pond, treat it and supply to northeast Delhi, west Delhi, north Delhi, central Delhi, south Delhi, including Delhi Cantonment and New Delhi Municipal Council areas.

Delhi requires around 1,200 MGD of water, while the DJB supplies around 950 MGD.

The government wants to increase the water supply to 1,180 MGD by June 2023.

A punishing heatwave turned Delhi into a hot cauldron on Saturday and made the mercury to an unbearable high of 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 the highest this season so far.

Weather forecasters said the heatwave spell is set to worsen on Sunday.

An 'orange' alert has been issued to warn people about a severe heatwave on Sunday.

The IMD uses four colour codes for weather warnings - green no action needed yellow watch and stay updated orange be prepared and red take action