Parts of western Maharashtra, like Marathwada, face the prospect of a summer with little water. The region’s dams have less than the adequate level of live storage of water but not as disastrously low as Marathwada’s.
Major dams in Pune revenue division, comprising most of western Maharashtra, have live storage of 39% while the level for all dams – major, medium and minor – is 37%.
However, officials pointed out that this level could be skewed because parts of Satara, Sangli and Solapur districts are in the grip of a severe drought while other parts of the region have been show to have relatively better water supply.
In western Maharashtra, Bhima Ujani irrigation project in Solapur district and Ghod dam in Ahmednagar district have recorded a zero levels of live storage.
Parts of north Maharashtra in Nashik division may end up facing water scarcity as the live storage levels in all dams here have averaged 28% which is about three percentage points below the state average and well below the last year’s average in the first week of March.
On the other hand, the dams in Konkan and Nagpur revenue divisions have recorded above average and healthy live storage levels which are 28 and 10 percentage points higher than Maharashtra’s average.
The dams that supply water to Mumbai – Tansa, Bhatsa, Vaitarna and Modaksagar – have recorded live storage levels of 58%, 59%, 69% and 17% respectively.
Chief minister Prithiviraj Chavan had stated about a month back that the drought in Maharashtra, especially in Marathwada, may be more severe than the one in 1972 which had led to large-scale devastation and displacement.
Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, too, has expressed similar fears.