Water Supply hit in Pockets of Delhi as Yamuna Levels Dip

According to DJB’s summer action plan, the targeted production of the Wazirabad plant is 134 MGD and of the Haiderpur plant is 241 MGD.

At a time that much of the northern plains are reeling under temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, Delhi has begun facing a new irritant — a dip in water supply.

Delhi Jal Board (DJB) officials said that the water level in the Yamuna has begun plummeting over the past few days, and coupled with power failures at treatment facilities, the water utility was able to supply only 977.79 million gallons per day (MGD) of water on Tuesday — 22.21 MGD lower than the target of 1,000 MGD.

The Wazirabad barrage in north Delhi forms the primary holding area where raw water is lifted for Wazirabad and Chandrawal treatment plants, and the dwindling water levels have impacted areas that are fed by these plants. Officials said that localities in north, central, and southwest Delhi — Kamla Nagar, Karol Bagh, Paharganj, New Rajinder Nagar, Baljeet Nagar, Govindpuri, Tughlaqabad, Punjabi Bagh, and Moolchand — may be impacted by the drop in water supply. To be sure, no formal advisory has been issued yet.

According to DJB’s summer action plan, the targeted production of the Wazirabad plant is 134 MGD and of the Haiderpur plant is 241 MGD. However, DJB bulletins stated that the Wazirabad facility supplied 125.52 MGD on Monday and 122.40 MGD on Tuesday. “Less treatment is due to low level of river Yamuna at Wazirabad pond resulting into less treatment at Wazirabad WTP,” the bulletin said.

The normal level in the pondage area of the Wazirabad plant is considered to be 674.50 feet, and while the level has dropped, officials did not share the current level. “We are diverting water from CLC to balance out the impact of raw water availability in the Yamuna, due to which water supply may go down from twice a day to once a day,” an official said.

The water utility has also been facing power outage issues over the last couple of days, which has disrupted operations at treatment plants. “The drop in production at the Haiderpur plant is due to power failure at the plant from 12.45am to 1.25 am. Operations were normalised at 2.10am,” a second official said.

Due to power failures, the Haiderpur facility supplied 228.33 MGD water on Tuesday, against 241.66 MGD on Monday.

Similar power outages also affected production at the Sonia Vihar and Bhagirathi WTPs, but the drop in water supply levels was negligible, officials said. DJB said on Monday alone, it received 750 complaints related to water supply, of which 492 complaints pertained to zero water supply.

Ashok Bhasin, president of the North Delhi Residents Welfare Association, said the areas supplied by the Chandrawal plant are facing water shortages.

“We are getting water-related complaints from areas such as Malkaganj, Timarpur, and Model Town, where the water supply pressure has gone down in tail-end areas. “If the situation is not fixed, we may be staring at a larger crisis in the coming days,” he said.

Officials warned that the shortages may soon spread to other parts of the city.

“The water levels in the river are continuously going down and if a similar situation persists, the water crisis in the city may worsen. We are in touch with the counterparts in Haryana to release more raw water,” a senior official said, requesting anonymity.

A Haryana government official from irrigation department said, “Haryana is fully discharging its obligation towards supplying Delhi’s legitimate share and additional water required to comply with Hon’ble Supreme Court orders dated 29.02.1996.”

Delhi depends on neighbouring states to meet a majority of its drinking water demand — through the Yamuna, the Carrier Lined Channel (CLC) Munak, and the Delhi Sub-branch (DSB) canals from Haryana; and through the Upper Ganga Canal via Muradnagar from Uttar Pradesh.

This water is routed through nine water treatment plants (WTPs) operated by DJB — Chandrawal, Wazirabad, Haiderpur, Nangloi, Okhla, Dwarka, Bawana, Bhagirathi, and Sonia Vihar.

Delhi faces acute water supply crisis in peak summer due to depletion of water in river channels leading to annual dispute between Delhi and Haryana. Delhi has been alleging that Haryana released less quantity of water during the peak summer period.



Image credit: HT Photo

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