iconimg Friday, September 04, 2015

Nikhil M Ghanekar, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, August 01, 2013
Half-way through the monsoon season, the state has seen above normal rainfall in most districts of Vidarbha with the highest surplus of 80% recorded between June and July-end. Marathwada and Khandesh regions that were worst hit due to rainfall below par last year saw a surplus of more than 30% this season.

However, the above normal rains in these regions have only marginally improved the water levels in medium and major dams.

Until July 31, the medium irrigation projects across Marathwada had gross water storage of 27% of its actually capacity compared with 71% gross water storage capacity across Amravati.

In the same period last year, the gross water storage capacity across medium irrigation projects was only 10%.

But, experts say even the gross figures are less than heartening as the live storage capacity is still low.

“The Jayakwadi dams’ live storage capacity as of today is only 4% or 85 million cubic metres. Thankfully, the state has released water from the upper projects such as Gangapur. Marathwada , Khandesh are still not out of trouble as the industries and villages there are not getting enough water. We had reached a dead storage level and it will take time to recoup,” said Pradeep Purandare, former professor, Water and Land Management Institute (WALMI), Aurangabad.

The volume of water in a dam that is stored below its lowest outlet is known as dead storage.

Following sizeable rainfall, Jayakwadi dam in Aurangabad that provides water to 8 districts crossed its dead storage level five days ago.

The rainfall in Vidarbha has resulted in a kind of wet drought as the heavy rainfall has damaged the sowing season, damaging crops such as cotton and soya bean.