In a departure from the norm, major reservoirs supplying drinking water to Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have surplus reserves even in the peak summer season this year. Hydrologists say that the stock could be sufficient to last till the arrival of monsoon next month.
Five dams — Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon, Temghar and Pavana — supply drinking water to Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, though Temghar dam has not been stocking water recently because it is undergoing repairs. Collectively, the water stock in all these dams is approximately 14.39 TMC (thousand million cubic feet), as on May 6.
“We received excess rainfall last year and it helped keep the reservoirs full…The current stocks can easily last more than two months,” said an official from the irrigation department.
This could also mean that the city will not face drinking water cuts for the first time in five years. However, some areas in the city continue to face water shortage and poor supply, though not because of anything directly to do with the overall water reserves.
The demand for water tankers, too, has been limited this year, since Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad usually need 4,500-5,000 tankers during peak summer months.
According to data records maintained by the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, only 227 villages and 477 settlements in Maharashtra needed support by water tankers (as on April 27, 2020).
Reservoir // Water stocks (per cent)