Govt plans to store Yamuna’s monsoon excess in reservoirs

The Delhi government is working on a plan to store additional water that flows in the Yamuna during the monsoon in reservoirs along the river in order to recharge the groundwater table, officials said on Wednesday.

In order to identify the locations for these off-channel reservoirs, Delhi Irrigation and Flood Control Minister Satyendar Jain met the director of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) Rakesh Kumar here on Wednesday, a government spokesperson confirmed.

The NEERI was asked to give technical help and suggest the details for the project, including how many and where the reservoirs should be, an official said.

With the Yamuna stretching 28 km from Palla to Wazirabad, the floodplains along the river could be used to store enough water to tide over the current deficit between demand and supply - around 200 million gallons per day, the official added.

Not only will the reservoirs recharge the groundwater table, they will also contribute to the base flow in the river, the official said.

The official added that studies in the past few years had found that the sand in large parts of the floodplains, including in east Delhi, had a depth of upto 40 metres, which would enable water to percolate relatively faster.

‘It is a good idea’

Environmentalist Manoj Misra, convenor of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, said the government’s plan was welcome, but how it will be implemented was crucial.

“Off-channel reservoirs do not impede the flow of the river. Other cities like London have used them successfully. On the face of it, it is a good idea, but where they are located will be important,” he said.

Mr, Misra said that escape drains meant to convey water from canals that are no longer in use, like the Bawana escape, could be used as off-channel reservoirs. “The escapes can help in groundwater recharge as well as become a source for recreation if the government develops the area,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 5:29:54 PM |

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