The week-long rains in Marathwada have done little to increase the water levels in dams of the drought-prone region. The water levels in dams of the Marathwada region are 21 per cent less than the levels last year during the same period.
Against a total capacity of 72,59,000 million litres, the water levels in the dams at present is 33,14,960 million litres, just under 46 per cent. Last year, it was higher at 67 per cent.
Sources in the water resources ministry said, “The IMD has predicted good rain in the first half of September. If we receive heavy rain in the next three weeks, there is a possibility of the water levels increasing. But from the overall trend from June, water levels in dams in Marathwada are unlikely to match last year’s mark.”
“However, 20 to 25 per cent lower water levels is a cause of serious concern and could have adverse impact ahead during summer months March to June,” sources in the water resources department said.
Insiders in the department said, “fortunately for two successive years between 2020 and 2021 Maharashtra skipped the droughts. The monsoons coupled with high water levels in dams proved a blessing for people and farmers in drought-hit regions. It also helped the state cope with drinking-water challenges.”
On September 4, the water level at the biggest dam in the Marathwada region, Jayakwadi in Aurangabad district, is 43.69 per cent of the capacity. Last year, it was 97 per cent. Against a water capacity of 21,70,000 million litres, currently, the Jayakwadi dam’s storage is 9,48,150 million litres. The water from Jayakwadi is used to take care of drinking water, irrigation and industries in the entire Aurangabad and Jalna districts. Apart from that, it helps to irrigate 2.50 lakh hectares of agricultural land.
In Majalgaon dam, the water level this year is 62.48 per cent, against 76 last year. For Yeldari dam in the Hingoli district, the corresponding numbers are 89 per cent and 100 per cent. For Lower Maner dam, they are 50 per cent and 79 per cent.
The Siddheshwar dam in the Hingoli district of the Marathwada region is likely to bridge the gap if it rains till mid-September. The water level is 94 per cent. marginally lower than last year’s 97 per cent.
However, in Lower Terna in Osmanabad district, known for perennial drought, the water level is 57.86 per cent, much higher than the 2 per cent last year. Similarly, Lower Dudhna in Parbhani district is better placed with 97 per cent against 71 per cent last year. The same goes for Manjara dam with water levels at 28.71 per cent, up from 4 per cent last year.
The Sine Kolegaon dam in Osmanabad with a storage capacity of 76,000 million litres shows zero water level, like it was last year.