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Maharashtra: Water level in drought-prone Marathwada’s Jayakwadi dam drops nearly 9% - Energy And Water Development Corp

Maharashtra: Water level in drought-prone Marathwada’s Jayakwadi dam drops nearly 9%

The onset of summer has led to an 8.79 per cent drop in water levels in Jayakwadi dam, the biggest dam in Maharashtra’s drought-prone Marathwada region. At 76.21 per cent, the water level in the dam situated across the Godavari river in Aurangabad is much lower compared to last year’s 85 per cent at the end of the first week of March.

With summer set to peak in the months of April and May, the eight districts in Marathwada, which constantly face water shortage, may find themselves in a tight spot until the onset of monsoon during mid-June.

Highly placed sources in the water resources department said the water levels in dams are being closely monitored. “If necessary, course correction would be done to prioritise its release as per laid norms – first for drinking, then irrigation and lastly for industries,” the source said.

The earthen dam of Jayakwadi in Paithan taluka, whose total capacity is 21.70 lakh million litres, is the main source of water for drinking, agriculture and industries in the region. Besides catering to domestic requirements, it irrigates 2.5 lakh hectares of farmland and supports the industrial belt in Aurangabad and Jalna districts.

According to data from the water resources department, the collective water level in the 3,267 dams in the state stands at 70.78 per cent, which is higher than last year’s 61 per cent for the same period in March. The increase has been attributed to regular unseasonal rains.

Although the water level in Jayakwadi is lower compared to previous years, the 964 dams in Aurangabad region together have more water compared to other divisions like Konkan, Pune, Nagpur and Amravati.

At 74.83 per cent, the collective water level of dams in Aurangabad division is better than last year’s 65 per cent. Similarly, Pune division with 726 dams has recorded a water level of 75.85 per cent, higher than last year’s 62 per cent.

This is followed by Nashik division which has 571 dams with a water level averaging 67.58 per cent compared to 62 per cent a year ago. In Nagpur division too it is identical. The water level in its 384 dams stands at 59 per cent, slightly higher than 56 per cent a year ago. Coastal Konkan, which faces recurrent cyclones, has 176 dams whose collective water level stands at 67.63 per cent, marginally up from 61 per cent last year.

The division-wise total water holding capacity of these dams is as follows: Pune (1,51,99,000 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) and Amravati (40,74,530 million litres). The total optimum water storage capacity in the 3,267 dams in Maharashtra adds up to 4,06,04,000 million litres.

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