Lakes and Dams Supplying Water to Mumbai

Mumbai one of the most populous city of the world quenches it’s thirst from 7 lakes/dams which supply fresh water. The 4 dams situated in the outskirts of Mumbai in Shahapur Taluka of Thane district delivers approximately 3 billion litres of water daily. These 4 dams are Vaitarna, Tansa, Bhatsa and Modak Sagar. The other three 3 lakes are located in Mumbai itself. All the three lakes in Mumbai were formed as a result of Mumbai Government’s initiative to store and control rainwater flowing from the Mithi river catchment.The largest one is the ‘Vihar Lake’, stretching about 27 miles and is located near the ‘Sanjay Gandhi National Park’. The second largest lake is Tulsi Lake in Mumbai. Water from the Tulsi Lake is extremely fresh and is used as drinking water. The artificial lake that was built by the British in 1890 is Powai Lake. It is located near the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and considered as an important tourist spot.

vihar-powai-tulsi

Various Lakes & Dams

Vihar Lake: ,br>Vihar Lake is located near Vihar village on the banks of Mithi River, within Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali.
It was constructed in 1860 and it is the largest lake of Mumbai.
This lake, situated in between Tulsi Lake and Powai Lake, meets up to 3% of the city's southern region's water requirements.
The water of the lake is filtered at Bhandup plant for drinking water.
The lake gets its water from rainwater collected in the catchment area of Powai-Kanheri Hill Ranges.

Some Facts:

  • Vihar Lake supplies 90 million litres daily
  • Vihar reservoir was the biggest and the first ever piped water supplying medium for the people of Mumbai.
  • The lake provides water for the southern region of Mumbai
  • The capacity of the lake is 27000 Million litres with overflow rate of the water is approximately 80.42m.
  • Entry to the Vihar Lake is restricted to the public since 1995.
  • The lake offers its visitors boundless scenic beauty and several migratory.
  • A crocodile park, with caged crocodiles of various sizes and species, has also been setup in the lake area.
  • IIT Bombay is located on the southern part of the lake.

Powai Lake is an artificial lake situated next to the Powai village. Huge lake in a totally residential suburb of Mumbai. Completely untouched by construction activity. Powai lake is a good place to hang out, walk, or just sit and watch the the activities around. To the east of this lake is the esteemed Indian Intsitute of Technology (IIT Mumbai). There are also various luxurious hotels and housing complexes around the periphery of the lake.

It's Construction:
In 1891,  the lake was constructed by British authorities by building two dams across the Mithi River to meet the drinking water requirement of the people. The lake was then spread across 2.1 km2, having depth of approximately 3m at the periphery and 12m at its deepest end.

The National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) included Powai Lake among the 'ten main lakes' of the country to be revived and improved.

How To Reach
If you are travelling by road, the lake is situated at a distance of 8.5 km from Andheri, 5.2 km from Kanjurmarg.

By Railway: Get down at Kanjur Marg railway station on central railway. It is the nearest railway station to Powai Lake.

After Vihar Lake, Tulsi Lake is the fresh water lake which is second largest in the city of Mumbai. It is located within the premises of Borivali Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The lake gets filled up during Monsoon. The water then overflows out into the Powai lake which further flows to Mithi river.

Features:

  • This lake was built by constructing a dam across River Tasso.
  • The idea of formation of Tulsi Lake came as a back-up option for the Vihar Lake, to supplement the water requirements of the city of Mumbai. It is also noted for its flora and fauna.
  • The construction of Tulsi Lake began in 1872 and completed in 1897. It has a total surface area of 135 hectares with an average depth of 12m.
  • The mean depth of the lake is 12m and the catchment area approximately ranges to 6.76 hectares. It comprises of a storage capacity of 8000 million litres.
  • There is restriction for entry to the common public.

The Vaitarna Dam was built on the river Vaitarna. The dam was built during British rule in 18th century, but it was renovated in 1954 by BMC engineer Narayan Modak.

The dam is divided into three parts the Upper Vaitarna Dam, Middle Vaitarna Dam and Lower Vaitarna Dam.

Upper Vaitarna: It is situated at a distance of about 20 kms from Khodala in Thane district near Mumbai. It is a gravity dam with capacity of 227,047 million litres and overflow level of 603.51 metres. The reservoir created by this dam spreads on both Vaitarna and Godavari rivers catchment area.

Middle Vaitarna: Recently built in 2012 having capacity of 193,000 million litres and overflow level of 285 metres.

Lower Vaitarna: This Dam is also called Modak Sagar Dam, named after the BMC engineer Narayan Modak. It is a gravity dam which supply 455 million liters of drinking water everyday to Thane and Mumbai city.

The capacity is 128,925 million litres with overflow level of 163.15 metres.

Distance from Mumbai to Shahapur 100 kms and Shahapur to Vaitarna dam 20 kms.

Bhatsa Dam, is an earthfill and gravity dam on Bhatsa river located between Shahpur and Khardi on National Highway 3 (NH3).

The height of the dam above lowest foundation is 88.5 m (290 ft) while the length is 959 m (3,146 ft). The volume content is 18,250 km3 (4,380 cu mi) and gross storage capacity is 976,150.00 km3 (234,190.84 cu mi)

Exactly on opposite side of Highway where Bhatsa Village and Tansa lake is located. This Dam and water reservoir is about 96 kms from Mumbai and is one of the 6 major source of water used by citizens, irrigation and hydro electrical power projects in city.


Tansa dam, is an earthfill and gravity dam on Tansa river located in Thane district about 100 kms from Mumbai.

The capacity of Tansa is 144,000 million litres with overflow level of 128.63 metres.

Tansa Dam was initially constructed by British Engineer Tullock while serving in the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.

Construction of the dam started in 1892 and was completed in 1925. The dam was further developed between 2001 and 2004 by engineers of the Municipal Corporation to deal with any tectonic eventuality.

Tansa Dam covers an area of 320 square km. It is equipped with nearly 38 spillway gates. This dam is considered one of the finest examples of architecture of that era.

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