HYDERABAD: With the city reeling under searing summer heat and water bodies drying up, Hyderabadis are forced to wait for days together to get delivery of tanker water.
It is quite bewildering that an inordinate delay of sorts is felt in terms of supply of potable water through Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) water tankers in Division 6 which comprises upmarket Jubilee Hills and Banjara Hills localities along with Kukatpally, Sherlingampally and other places. Reason: the widening gap between demand and supply.
As temperatures breach the 40 degree Celsius mark and groundwater table depletes at an alarming rate, the city is experiencing an unprecedented scarcity of water.
Unlike in countries where water resources are limited and sewage water is treated and recycled for non-drinking purposes, half of the sewage water generated in the city is wasted and released into the Musi river.
As per official estimates, the city generates around 1,200 MLD(million litre per day) of sewage water daily but only 592 MLD of water is being treated and recycled by the STPs located in Amberpet, Nagole, Nallacheruvu and Attapur. The two STPs located at Hussainsagar lake too do not make any difference as the treated water is simply discharged into the lake.
The city requires 462 MGD (million gallons per day) of water to quench its thirst.
Though four main water resources - namely Osmansagar, Himayathsagar, Singur and Manjira - have dried up, as much as 356 MGD of water is being supplied to the city through Krishna Phase-1, Phase-2, Phase-3 and Godavari Phase-1 projects. Assuming that monsoon rains will recharge these reservoirs, the water supply to the city would stand at 602 MGD and the average sewage generation per day would rise to 2,400 MLD.
"Establishing more STPs is no solution to the water crisis unless citizens welcome the use of treated water for day-to-day requirements. We do not supply recycled water to the public. If we have to supply treated water, we would require a separate network of tanks, reservoirs, pipelines etc and it would require huge investment," said G Rameshwar Rao, director (Operations), HMWSSB.
According to him, the HMWSSB is currently supplying 356 MGD water as compared to 340 MGD same time around last year, in spite of water sources going dry. "The shortage is mainly because of depleting groundwater level and dry borewells," he added.
Responding to the wastage of treated water, Aliya Khatoon, coordinator of Basti Vikas Manch, said her NGO had in the past made representations to the HMWSSB urging them to use treated water for other purposes.
"In the slums, we get water once in 15 days. When we requested the board to provide us with treated water at least for alternative purposes, we were told that it requires policy decision," she said. "We, at BVM, are ready to work with the board to supply recycled water and we do not require government's financial aid for this," added Khatoon.
While treated sewage water is being wasted, GHMC and HMDA have been using the water from Hussainsagar to water the grassy medians on the roads twice a day.