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Amidst Inadequate Monsoon, Maharashtra’s Dams Face Precarious Water Levels
Water Crisis In Maharashtra: Maharashtra, including the Pune region, stands on the precipice of a severe drinking water shortage this upcoming summer season. The state is grappling with the aftermath of an inadequate monsoon, which has resulted in a significant decline in water levels across its 2,994 dams. These water reserves have dwindled from 80.94% capacity on January 30, 2023, to a concerning 55.09% as of the latest records.
Concerns Amplify as Ujani Dam Approach Critical Levels
The situation intensifies as one of Maharashtra’s largest dams, the Ujani dam, has reached its dead stock level, underscoring the gravity of the water crisis. The Ujani Dam, with its capacity of 117 thousand million cubic feet (TMC), holds a pivotal role in supplying water to the entire Solapur District. Despite its depletion to dead stock levels, there still remains approximately 64 TMC of water available, with the possibility of utilizing up to 35 TMC from the dead stock.
Challenges Multiply Across Villages and Hamlets
Data from the Water Supply and Sanitation department reveal the stark reality faced by many communities. On January 29, 456 villages and 1,087 hamlets across the state relied on water supplied by 48 government and 511 private tankers, including 47 government-operated tankers. This represents a stark increase from the same period the previous year when only three hamlets were receiving water from just two tankers.
Worsening Conditions in Aurangabad and Pune Regions
Water Crisis In Maharashtra: The State Water Resources Department paints a grim picture of water storage across various regions, with dams in Aurangabad and Pune reporting alarmingly low levels. Aurangabad’s dams are at a mere 31.93% capacity, while Pune’s water storage stands at 56.89%, signaling critical shortages that could exacerbate the looming crisis.
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Water Crisis In Maharashtra: Mitigation Efforts and Future Strategies
Authorities are mobilizing efforts to address the imminent crisis. In Pune, the administration has allocated tankers to 61 hamlets and 10 villages, a stark contrast to the previous year when no such provisions were necessary. Shewta Khurhade, executive engineer of the Khadakwasla Irrigation Division, emphasizes the need for judicious water usage and plans to convene a meeting with Deputy Chief Minister and Pune District Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar to devise comprehensive strategies in response to the escalating water situation.
In conclusion, Maharashtra faces a daunting challenge in managing its water resources amidst an impending crisis aggravated by an inadequate monsoon. Urgent and coordinated efforts are imperative to mitigate the impact and ensure sustainable water management practices in the face of uncertain climatic conditions.