Finally, there's incontrovertible evidence to confirm what was always known to be behind the capital's water woes: illegal usage and leakage. Official supplier Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has calculated that the total water lost in the city is about 260 million gallons per day (mgd). Of this, 15 to 20 per cent goes down the drain (spillage). The rest is untraceable.
As per the master plan for 2001, while south zone's water demand is 36 mgd -- the highest in the city -- DJB is able to supply only 10 mgd. All the water production centres are sited in the northern part of the capital. This circuitous network results in low-pressure supply and losses. Worse, illegal tapping becomes easier from long-distance pipes. The demand for water increases by 15 per cent every summer in Delhi. And the problem is aggravated as the DJB digs deeper into a parched aquifer in search of groundwater.
Now consider this. DJB estimates peg Delhi's demand-supply gap at 150 mgd. So, locational flaws notwithstanding, all that the board needs to do to tide the capital over its water crisis is plug pilferage.
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