BMC divides city into 240 metering zones for better water supply

The BMC water supply department has introduced the concept of district metering zones (DMZ) to identify leakages, curb thefts and evaluate needs.

The zones will help installation of flow meters that began in 2010. Through the three-year project, BMC aims to ensure 24-hour water supply or at least improve the current one-hour supply time.

"We plan to increase the supply time of one hour to at least two to three hours soon," said an official. For this, the water supply department has divided Mumbai into 240 zones.

Flow meters check water pressure during supply and can identify leakages to help reduce loss.

After a pilot project in Mulund, Bhandup, Kanjurmarg and Vikhroli, the meters have been installed in 148 other locations across the city.

"We want 100 per cent metering. For this, we need to divide the city into planning zones. Zonal bills will tell us the need and consumption in each area. Data generated by flow meters and DMZ will make us understand different regions better," said the official.

Zonal bills will establish consumption patterns and needs.

A district meter measures water supply to a zone and at the end of a month produces a bill. Water units shown consumed in the bill should match supply meter reading.

Losses can be attributed to leakage, theft, non-metering or poor metering. Currently, BMC relies on manual inspection of individual bills.

"We plan to complete this project in three years. The information recorded will be stored on the BMC water department server. Using the information, officials will be able to verify water supply complaints. This will reduce pressure on our workforce," said the official.

Water lost due to leaks in utilities, theft or metering inaccuracies before it reaches the consumer is called non-revenue water (NRW). Of its 3,228 million-litres-per-day supply, which is well short of the 4,200 mld demand, Mumbai loses 30 per cent of NRW.

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