Pune water reserved enough to last till July: Officials
Water cuts in the city are due to maintenance work, not shortage.
Oliviya Kunjumon, Grace Paul Vallooran | Pune | While parts of the city have been facing water cuts for the past few days, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) authorities have stated that it was because of maintenance work at pumping stations, not a shortage. In fact, reservoirs supplying water to the city have enough water to last till July 15 or even August.
In recent weeks, some parts of Pune faced a shortage in water supply from PMC, along with major media houses reporting lower levels of water in Khadakwasla than last year. This time, there has been a deficiency in the pre-monsoon showers and unusual heatwaves. With Pune’s history of water shortages in the past, how bad is it going to be this time?
P D Shinde, Section Engineer at Khadakwasla Division of the Irrigation Department, said, “Till July 15, in an estimate calculation, the city will require 2.04 TMC water for drinking. Besides this, another 1.25 TMC will be required for irrigation. There is enough water left in the dams for this. So, there is no risk of an acute shortage anytime soon.”
The water cut, that happened in some parts of the city last Thursday, was said to be caused by maintenance and repair works carried out at Parvati, Cantonment, SNDT and Holkar bridge pumping stations. This was postponed from the previous weeks since the President was visiting Pune then.
A senior official at the PMC also confirmed on condition of anonymity, “The irrigation department has guaranteed sufficient supply of water till July 15.”
Pune city requires around 0.051 TMC per day. Last year, this time, the dams had 7.29 TMC water and this year, it is 4.97 TMC, with a shortfall of 2.32 TMC. Around 43 percent of water is available in Khadakwasla Complex, as of Wednesday, June 8, 2022.
“We have enough water even for the five days of the annual Palkhi procession, which begins from June 21,” he added, “If in case monsoon comes 30 days late this year, reserve water of around 2 TMC is also available for such emergencies.”
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) takes 0.051 TMC water from the Khadakwasla complex for daily use. The PMC has a sanctioned quota of 11.5 TMC per year. But the requirement sometimes goes up to 18 to 20 TMC. This, at times, creates a deficiency in supplying water for irrigation.
Pune district has 26 dams in all, with four dams in the Khadakwasla circle - Panshet, Khadakwasla, Warasgaon and Temghar- providing water to the metropolitan area. These dams also provide water to Velhe, Haveli, Daund, Indapur, Baramati and Purandar. Before reaching our homes, water from these dams passes through treatment plants and reservoirs at different locations like Parvati, Holkar, Lashkar, Warje, Wadgaon, Ravet, etc. The other dams are used for irrigation or to generate electricity.
When there is above-normal rainfall in the catchment area, then the excess water in the dams is released through rivers and canals. This water can be used for irrigation during the Kharif season. Every season, an expert committee decides how to use the water in the dams.
PMC’s 24×7 Water Supply Project, which aims to provide equitable distribution of water in all parts of the city and also to some adjacent villages, is still underway.
As per the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) recent forecasts, the city in the coming week will see ‘light’, ‘moderate’ and good levels of rainfall. A few days ago, they had also predicted the monsoon to be ‘normal’ in Maharashtra this year. The shortage of water levels in dams is thus not expected to last for long, officials confirmed.