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Less rain will mean water woes

A weak monsoon over northwest India is sure to cause several problems for Delhi. To start with, Haryana has reduced supply of water to the capital and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is expecting 10 to 15% shortage in areas serviced by the Wazirabad and Chandrawal water treatment plants from Thursday. If it doesn't rain soon, the situation will only get grimmer.

The 120 million gallons per day (MGD) Wazirabad plant and the 90 MGD Chandrawal plant supply water to large parts of west, southwest, south and central Delhi, as well as NDMC areas. Places where some disruption in supply was expected include Gole Market, Khan Market, Connaught Place, Ashoka Road, Tughlaq Road, Civil Lines, Model Town, Chandni Chowk, Daryaganj, Delhi Cantt, RK Puram, Rajouri Garden and Punjabi Bagh.

Haryana, that supplies about 325 MGD to Delhi for its drinking water needs, has been getting reduced supply from the Bhakra dam after water level in the dam fell due to low rainfall. While Delhi's share was not supposed to be affected, Haryana's agricultural needs forced it to reduce supply to the capital. Though the state maintained it took the step as its rivers were drying up.

According to R K Garg, member (water supply) DJB, Yamuna level has been slightly lower than usual for the past few days and the utility was finding it hard to meet its requirements. "The level of Yamuna at present is 673.4 ft against the level of 674.5 ft that is required to be maintained. The level had been low for a few days at 673.7 ft but we had been able to sustain production. However, with the level dropping further, we are anticipating a 10-15% drop in production in two plants. Unless the monsoon revives, the situation may get worse,'' he said.

According to sources, DJB asked Haryana to increase supply to prevent a water crisis in the city though sources in Haryana Irrigation Department said with water required for irrigation, it was not possible to spare any more than what it was already supplying. "There is a huge crisis in Haryana at present as there isn't sufficient water for agriculture. Also, there is not enough water in the rivers, so there is nothing we can do to increase supply to Delhi. There isn't any extra water,'' said an official.

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