The recently started load shedding that has taken a toll on businesses and daily life is now causing a disruption in the water supply to many areas of the capital, bringing new suffering for the city dwellers already hit hard by the power outage and others.
"We currently have a water crisis. Hence, there is a shortage of water supply in some areas, which is due mainly to load shedding," AKM Shahid Uddin, director (technical) of the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Dhaka Wasa), said while talking to the Business Standard recently.
"Our [Dhaka Wasa] overall water demand could be met by running pumps for 10 hours uninterruptedly. But the load shedding-induced frequent interruption now forces us to run the pumps for 20 hours, as it takes four to five hours to regain required pressure in water pipes-lines for just an hour of interruption."
The water problem appears when there is not adequate pressure in pipelines, he explained, adding that the load shedding increased their production costs greatly in two ways – keeping pumps run for extra hours and using high-priced diesel as an alternative to electricity.
Talking to The Business Standard, dozens of dwellers from Matuail, Jurain, Shahjahanpur, Khilgaon, Badda, Kuril, Bhatara, Rupnagar, Mirpur, Agargaon and Rayerbazar said they have been facing a disruption in water supply for the last couple of days, but they do not know the actual reason behind the crisis.
Take Suruj Ali's house in the Badda area for example. "We have been facing water supply disruption for the last three to four days. We now get little water one or two times a day, with which we have to do our essential work."
"We don't know the actual reason behind the crisis. We did not even see such a problem for long," he added.
"Our water problem is very old. For almost one year, we saw trouble in the water supply, but we could manage our daily life anyhow.
However, the water crisis has reached an intolerable level over the past one or two weeks," Sabina Haque, a resident of Shahjadpur, told TBS.
"Now we are passing days, sometimes, without taking shower, even without cooking."
The government started an area-wise organised load shedding across Bangladesh from 19 July this year in a bid to tackle the ongoing energy crisis and reduce foreign currency expenditures.
According to the Dhaka Wasa, there are also some other reasons behind the long water crisis in the capital, such as falling groundwater level.
"As the water level goes down gradually, we are installing more pipes to get the groundwater," Golam Mostafa, an official of the Wasa office in Bhatara, told TBS. He was hopeful that the long crisis will be fixed once the pipe installation is completed.
The Dhaka Wasa every day lifts and purifies some 210-240 crore litres of water from ground and surface sources. Some 64% comes from ground sources.
To reduce dependency on groundwater, a surface water treatment plant is being built in Rupganj of Narayanganj, Dhaka Wasa said.