Delhi govt aims to meet water demand-supply gap in 3 yr

Delhi govt aims to meet water demand-supply gap in 3 years; water minister chairs 8-hr long meeting

The Delhi government has set an ambitious target of meeting the gap between water supply and demand in the next three years, and various water augmentation projects are being expedited keeping that in mind, officials said on Saturday.

The city needs around 1,150 million gallons of water per day (MGD) and the Delhi Jal Board is able to supply around 900 MGD on an average, which means that about 222 per cent of the demand is not being met.

Delhi Water Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday chaired a meeting of senior Delhi Jal Board officials that lasted more than eight hours and reviewed the progress of various projects.

"There are several projects on which work is going on. These are expected to meet the water demand-supply deficit in the next three years," a DJB official said.

There are 15 ranney wells in the city which can together provide 20 MGD water, but these were non-functional due to high ammonia content in water. Now, we have the technology to treat high ammonia concentration, he said.

The technology was pilot tested at a non-functional ranney well in east Delhi and implemented at four more such facilities.

"The DJB will now take up the work to tap 11 more such ranney wells," the official said.

The DJB has also taken up the work to rejuvenate lakes across the city which can supply additional 30 MGD water.

"Work is underway to rejuvenate five lakes. The tendering work for another three has been completed. The work to rejuvenate eight to 10 more lakes, including at Tikri Khurd, Bhalswa, and Hauz Khas, will be taken up in the next four-five months," he said.

More tubewells will be installed at places where groundwater levels are high to meet the demand-supply gap.  

"In many areas, groundwater levels are high but water could not be used due to contaminants. The department has now been instructed to use the latest technology to remove contaminants," the official said.

The minister directed officials to expedite the work of connecting households to sewer network in an uncovered area.

"As soon as the sewer line is laid, the DJB will provide household connections in these areas," the official said.  

Jain also said that no amount of treated wastewater should go waste.

"The treated wastewater has to be reused for horticulture, groundwater recharge, rejuvenating lakes, water bodies and in forest areas in the national capital. Nothing should go to waste," the official said.

The national capital generates around 720 million gallons of wastewater per day, of which around 520 million gallons is treated by sewage treatment plants.

Delhi mandatorily releases 267 MGD treated wastewater in the Yamuna as a part of its commitment to the Upper Yamuna River Board. Ninety MGD is used in various park and gardens, and the rest goes to waste.

According to the National Green Tribunal-appointed Yamuna Monitoring Committee, only 20 per cent of the treated wastewater is being used in the city.  

Every 4,500 households being added to the sewer network will increase one MGD wastewater in the city.