Delayed monsoons threaten Mumbai water

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The Independent Online

The delay in monsoon rains in India has left the country's financial capital facing a water crisis.

Mumbai's civic authorities have announced a 30 per cent cut in the water supply due to a lack of rainfall in the catchment areas which supply the city.

Officials said this was the highest cut the city had seen. The four reservoirs which provide water to the city reportedly have enough to last only one more month.

The onset of the monsoons, which usually begin in June, have been delayed in most parts of the country.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Council (BMC) cut supply by 20 per cent last month, but officials have now raised the amount following the continuing dry spell.

Shubha Raul, the mayor of Mumbai, told the Press Association: "We had no other option but to slash the water supply.

"It is raining in Mumbai but our reservoirs are far from Mumbai and there it is quite dry."

She added that rain water harvesting was a good and environment-friendly way to maintain water supply.

"We are encouraging people to harvest rain water. That is the only way out at the moment.

"We hope to improve the condition in the coming days," the mayor added.

Despite a marginal increase in ground water levels, the amount is not enough to sustain the city's population of almost 14 million people.

Dhaval Kulkarni, a city resident, said: "A water cut is definitely a major problem as we never face such conditions.

"It has happened due to poor rainfall this year and the situation may get worse. We might get water every alternate day."

The office employee said people should use water carefully and sensitively while the BMC puts in concrete efforts to solve the problem.

Vandana Kher, a resident of the city's suburb Dadar, said they were already facing serious problems.

"We are using water carefully, especially drinking water. Water is a must for everything.

"Due to the shortage, washing and cleaning have been affected. We are looking to store water and are trying to avoid unnecessary usage," she added.

The BMC has not only reduced supply to the city's residents, but has also restricted water to commercial establishments.

Five-star hotels, clubs and municipal swimming pools will have a decreased supply of water, along with government offices and railway stations.