The Gujarat Irrigation Department, starting September 1, will pump water from the Narmada into the Aji dam via the Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation (SAUNI) pipeline to ensure uninterrupted water supply to Rajkot city, mayor Pradip Dav said on Friday.
The water levels in the dam — the biggest local source of drinking water for Rajkot city — have dipped and its catchment area has received little rain this monsoon.
“Rains have not been satisfactory so far this monsoon and we continue to go through a dry spell. As it is not raining, we requested Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to pump Narmada water into local dams—Aji and Nyari. Pursuant to our request and to ensure that city residents get water supply for 20 minutes every day, the state government has decided to pump Narmada water into Aji dam,” Dav said in an official release, terming the move a “gift” to the city by Rupani.
This is the third time in less than a year that the government is pumping water from the Narmada to the Aji dam for drinking purpose.
According to Dav’s release, the storage in Aji dam as of Friday was 150 million cubic feet (mcft), which can last till September 10. Storage in Nyari, another local source of drinking water for the city, was 544 mcft, enough till mid-November.
Meanwhile, Bhadar —Saurashtra’s second biggest reservoir, from which the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) draws water for irrigation — had storage of 1932 mcft which can see the city through December this year, the release stated.
“We are drawing around 5 mcft (equivalent to 120 million litres) from Aji dam every. This is more than a third of the around 320 MLD (million litres per day) water we are distributing in the city. So, very little live storage is left in Aji… Therefore, we requested the state government to pump 335 mcft water in Aji and the government has approved the same,” RMC city engineer Mahendra Kamaliya told The Indian Express.
Kamaliya said the Irrigation Department will start pumping water in to Link-III SAUNI pipeline from Dholi Dhaja dam in Surendranagar from September 1, and that the water is expected to reach upstream Aji dam on September 4.
The official noted that the RMC draws 120 MLD of water from the Aji dam, 60 MLD from the Nyari dam, 50 MLD from the Bhadar dam and also gets around 110-120 MLD water from the Narmada via the Gujarat Water Infrastructure Limited (GWIL) pipeline network.
“While the daily supply of Narmada water has been steady so far, we apprehend it can fluctuate with the overall level of storage in Narmada dam. We can address any issue if water is available in Aji,” Kamaliya said, adding there was no immediate proposal to impose any water cuts in the city.