The state government Tuesday signed an MoU with an Israeli company for its ambitious Marathwada Water Grid project to tackle problems of drinking water and drought in the region. The cabinet gave its nod for the project and partnership between Maharashtra and an Israeli company to promote the water grid projects, which would interlink all reservoirs and dams across the Marathwada region in Maharashtra.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is looking at a long-term partnership between Maharashtra and Israel in agriculture and irrigation projects. He said Israel’s advanced technology in water management in agriculture and irrigation projects is being pursued by Maharashtra. The primary concern of the partnership, officials said, is to override the water crisis in eight worst hit drought districts of Marathwada region. The drinking water required in Marathwada is 17.92 TMC.
In 2016, more than 4,000 tankers had to be deployed for supplying water in Marathwada region due to severe water scarcity. Apart from these, some short-term measures to provide water was taken. It included supplying water through train to tackle the problems of drinking water in Latur which was amongst the worst hit districts of Marathwada. The water was brought from Miraj through train which was 300 km from Latur. The water crisis was grave across all the eight districts Aurangabad, Latur, Jalna, Nanded, Beed, Parbani, Osmanabad and Hingoli in Marathwada.
The Israeli company known for adopting advanced technology in water management takes care of 85 per cent of domestic water supply in Israel, said an official and added that the state government will utilise the Israeli company’s technology and expertise to design and develop the water grid in Marathwada.
The water grid project intends to evaluate the water capacity across all existing rivers, dams, reservoirs which would be interlinked. The water supply through closed pipe to minimise the water leakages and evaporation is being enforced in some parts of the state. However, officials said the government is vying for collaboration with Israel to evolve a new Water Grid Model which would help override the water crisis not only at present but also in future.