CM Kejriwal’s promise: Capital will not see water shortage this summer

To ensure water supply across the city this summer, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed officials to increase availability through tubewells, submit a plan to treat ammonia that is in the water supplied from Haryana to Delhi, and increase the number of water tankers.

According to a communication from the CM’s office, households in Delhi can expect “uninterrupted water supply” this summer. Kejriwal chaired a high-level meeting with Water Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, Environment Minister Gopal Rai and government officials on Wednesday.

At the meeting, Kejriwal pointed out that more water is wasted due to supply chain disruptions than the lack of water itself and emphasised the importance of “fixing the supply chain to minimise water wastage”, according to the communication. To deal with wastage, he has directed officials to complete the installation of flow meters to measure the quantity of water being used.

The city has seen a water shortage even before the summer has set in full swing this year, with the water level in the Yamuna being below the required levels for over two weeks now, and ammonia levels being well above the 1 ppm (parts per million) that the Delhi Jal Board water treatment plants can process.

The CM has directed officials to deploy an agency that will maintain tubewells for five years and repair them, besides ensuring that they are running smoothly. Kejriwal has proposed a 100 MGD (million gallons per day) increase in water availability through groundwater. Bharadwaj also said that areas with high water tables are being identified for groundwater extraction and supply.

To deal with high levels of ammonia in raw water, an issue that has recently been affecting supply in the city, a processing unit is being set up at Wazirabad. According to Bharadwaj, within six months, treatment plants that can treat higher levels of ammonia will be set up.

On the use of treated wastewater, upgradation of sewage treatment plants (STPs) and taking treated water from STPs to lakes and parks was discussed. Kejriwal has asked officials to explore possibility of using treated water from decentralised STPs in 200 to 300 parks in the city, besides using water from a total of 135 treatment plants to recharge lakes. Officials have also been directed to set up RO (reverse osmosis) plants near lakes to treat water for supply by September this year, and prepare a plan to manage the 600 water bodies in Delhi.