Mumbai’s Unquenchable Thirst: Overestimating Water Demand to Justify Dams

Sachin Tiwale

Question Of Cities | March 22, 2024

Water to the city has been supplied from seven dams, constructed in the neighbouring rural and forested areas, at great socio-economic and environmental costs. More such capital-intensive projects are being planned. But does Mumbai really need these projects? The answer, surprising to many, is in the negative as this paper details out. In Mumbai’s history of water supply, the process of estimating water demand has been compromised multiple times and water demands are over-estimated following unrealistic assumptions – to justify the development of dams.