April 4, 2021 8:18:40 pm
The water level in 3,267 dams across Maharashtra at the end of March 2021 is higher than that of last year, spelling relief for farmers, especially in drought-hit regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha.
According to the water resources development department, “At the end of March 2021, water level in dams across the state was 24768440 million litres. It accounts for 61 per cent of the total live capacity of 40,604,000 million litres. Whereas, last year in the same month the water level in dams was 58 per cent.”
Officers in the department, however, pointed out that it is just the onset of summer, and it remains to be seen how the situation evolves in the summer months between April and June.
Water levels in February and March are crucial in terms of drawing dam water management plans for summers, which are getting longer with each successive year. Instead of June, the department now has to consider July and part of August also, as kharif sowing activities spill over in these months.
In most of the five revenue divisions in Maharashtra — Aurangabad (Marathwada region), Nagpur (Eastern Vidarbha); Nashik (North Maharashtra), Pune (Western Maharashtra) and Amravati (Western Vidarbha) — water levels in dams have increased.
Marathwada – which encompasses drought-hit districts of Beed, Parbhani, Latur, Osmanabad, Nanded, Jalna and Aurangabad — has 964 dams. The live water stock is 4718350 million litres — 65 per cent of the total live capacity of 7259000 million litres. Last year the water stock was at 50 per cent.
Jaikwadi dam, which is the biggest and caters to both drinking and agriculture and industries requirements of the entire Marathwada region, has 85 per cent live water stock, almost matching last year’s 85 per cent. The total live water capacity in this dam is 2,170,000 million litres.
However, water level in 726 dams in Pune division shows a decline from 62 per cent last year to 60 per cent this year. The total live storage capacity 15,199,000 million litres. The water level at present is 9,119,400 million litres.
In Nashik division there is an increase from 60 per cent to 62 per cent – with 3610260 million litres of its total live capacity of 5,823,000 million litres. The region has 571 dams.
Nagpur division, which has 384 dams, also saw an increase from 55 per cent last year to 57 per cent this year. Its water storage at 2,624,280 million litres accounts for 57 per cent of total capacity of 4,604,000 million litres.
Amravati division, with 446 dams, records a gain from 52 to 59 per cent — with 2,437,290 million litres out of total live storage capacity of 4,131,000 million litres.
The coastal Konkan has maintained uniformity in 176 dams. Its cumulative water levels stand at 62 per cent. Water in dams is 2176820 million litres of the total live storage capacity of 3511000 million litres.
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