Dams in Maharashtra have registered an average water level of 38.47 per cent in the last week of May this year. This figure is 1.47 per cent higher compared to the water level in dams during the same period last year, said sources in the state administration.
They added that if monsoons arrive in Maharashtra by June 10, the state is unlikely to face any water crisis.
There are 3,267 dams in Maharashtra. The cumulative water storage capacity of dams in the western state is 40,604,000 million litre, whereas the dams, at present, have 15,622,150 million litre water.
With the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting timely arrival of monsoons, the agriculture department was hopeful of experiencing a normal Kharif season from June to August. However, sources in the water resources department said a lot will depend on the rain pattern.
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A senior officer in the water resources department said, “At 38.47 per cent, the live water stock is manageable. But if the water level drops by 10 to 15 per cent, then things can get worse. Even now, several districts across Vidarbha, Marathwada and north Maharashtra are facing water shortages. A prolonged summer extending beyond the month of May could turn out to be a cause of anxiety.”
According to data from the water resources department, the water level in drought-prone Marathwada region was higher compared to the level in the Vidarbha region.
The water level in Marathwada dams showed an increase of 9.67 per cent compared to last year. Last May, the water level in 964 dams in Marathwada region was 38 per cent. At present, the water level is 47.67 per cent.
The biggest dam in Marathwada region, Jayakwadi in Aurangabad district, has 43.98 per cent water, compared to 40 per cent a year ago.
However, the water level in eastern Vidarbha region with 384 dams is 35.84 per cent, 6.16 per cent lower than the same period last year.
Notably, western Vidarbha region dams with 48.02 per cent water level have provided the much-needed relief to the agriculture sector. Last year, this region with 446 dams had 42 per cent water level.
The biggest national irrigation dam, Gosikhurd in Bhandara district in Vidarbha region, has recorded 23 per cent water storage in the last week of May this year. Whereas the water level in the dam was only 15 per cent at this time last year.
In north Maharashtra, which houses 571 dams, the water storage level is 38.39 per cent, 1.61 per cent lower than last year’s 40 per cent.
In western Maharashtra with 726 dams, the water storage level this year is marginally higher at 30.94 per cent in comparison to last year’s 30 per cent.
The level of water in coastal Konkan region dams is 46.06 per cent. Almost the same as last year’s 46 per cent.
Notably, Maharashtra averted drought for the last two successive years. The water resources department attributed the feat to good monsoons and unseasonal rains that had kept water levels steady in dams.