Updated: March 14, 2022 7:29:44 am
THE ONSET of summer has shown an 8.79 per cent drop in the water level at Jayakwadi dam, which is the biggest dam in the drought-prone Marathwada region of Maharashtra. At 76.21 per cent, the water level is much lower compared to last year’s 85 per cent at the end of the first week of March.
The eight districts of the Marathwada region are always reeling under water shortage. Highly placed sources in the water resources department said, “Water levels in the dams are being closely monitored and if necessary, course correction would be taken to prioritise its release according to laid down norms — first drinking, second irrigation and last industries.”
Asia’s biggest earthen dam Jayakwadi dam in Paithan taluka in the Marathwada region is the main source of water for various needs. Apart from catering to domestic requirements it also irrigates 2.50 lakh hectares of farmland and supports the industrial belt in the districts of Aurangabad and Jalna. Its total water capacity is 21.70 lakh million litres.
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According to data from the water resources department, the water level at 3,267 dams in Maharashtra collectively stands at 70.78 per cent, which is higher than last year’s 61 per cent for the same period. The increase in water levels is attributed to unseasonable rains.
In terms of water level, the Aurangabad division is better placed with 74.83 per cent collectively at 964 dams compared to last year’s 65 per cent. The Pune division recorded a water level of 75.85 per cent at 726 dams, which is higher than last year’s 62 per cent.
It is followed by the Nashik division, which has 571 dams with the water level at 67.58 per cent compared to 62 per cent a year ago. The Nagpur division recorded water level at 59 per cent in 384 dams, which is slightly higher than 56 per cent a year ago. The coastal Konkan, which was among the worst hit by recurring cyclones has 176 dams. The water level at these dams collectively stood at 67.63 per cent, up from 61 per cent last year.
In terms of total water holding capacity in dams, the division-wise data stands at — Pune (151,99,000 million litres), Nashik (58,23,000 million litres), Nagpur (46,04,000 million litres); Aurangabad (72,59,000 million litres), Konkan (35,11,000 million litres), Amravati (40,74,530 million litres).
The total optimum water storage capacity in 3,267 dams in Maharashtra works to 406,04,000 million litres.
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