1,020,000,000 Gallons per day Needed For Delhi 117,000,000 Gallons Shortage Per Day
Delhi residents face parched throats by 2020 if the government doesn’t wake up from its deep slumber and revives over 600 vanished water bodies. The city will be short of 477 million gallons of water per day by the end of this decade, according to a master plan projection of Delhi Development Authority. It says the city’s current population of 1.92 crore requires 1,020 million gallons of water daily but Delhi Jal Board (DJB) will be able to supply only 903 million. With the city population projected to rise to 2.3 crore by 2020, the water demand will shoot up to 1,380 million gallons a day. Although Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal fulfilled his promise of supplying 20,000 litres of free water per month to every household, he faces the challenge of drastically enhancing water production and reviving of water bodies.
Shockingly, approximately 78 per cent of the city’s water is used by the affluent, powerful and upper middle class. The main guzzlers are the VIPs in Lutyens’ Delhi, five-star hotels, farm houses, banquet halls and upscale restaurants. The three lakh residents of Lutyens’ Delhi, which is spread across just 43.7 sq km, consume 225 million litres a day. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), which manages the zone, buys 125 million litres of water from DJB while the remaining 100 million litres comes from water boring by NDMC. Tragically, around 38 per cent of it goes waste, costing `10 lakh per day and `37 crore a year, said a high-ranking DJB official.
Wasteful household activities such as washing cars, watering gardens using pipe and bathing dogs use several litres of water. The poor upkeep and maintenance of civic water pipelines throughout the city also result in substantial water loss.
It’s scary that the water table is falling by 1.7 to 2 metres per year in South and Southwest Delhi.
DJB CEO Keshav Chandra told The Sunday Standard, “We’ve planned to install District Metering Systems across the city, divided into small pockets to monitor the gap between water supplied and consumed. This will indicate Revenue Water, meaning losses to the government through leakage, theft or mismanagement.”
According to the Central Ground Water Board, between November 2013 and November 2014, 53 per cent of all wells in the city showed a drop in water level.
“In view of the unavoidable reliance on ground water, there is a pressing need to augment the declining groundwater reserves by protecting water bodies,” said a DJB official.