After four dry years, Maharashtra may not have to battle drought this time around, with good rain increasing the water stock in many of the state’s major dams and reservoirs.
Figures from the state water resources department show the total water stock in all dams stands at 73% .
At Jayakwadi, the biggest irrigation project in Marathwada - hit worst by the drought - the water stock went up to 61% for the first time in the five years. Last year, this figure was 6%. Jayakwadi supplies drinking water to four cities, industrial clusters and more than 500 villages in Marathwada.
Since the onset of monsoon, the state has been getting good rainfall, with some regions like Nashik even facing floods from the Godavari River. Four reservoirs supplying water to Mumbai — Modaksagar, Tansa, Vihar and Tulsi - has also filled up sufficiently.
The state administration is now hoping Jayakwadi reaches full capacity after eight long years. “In the last five years, Jayakwadi has not received this much water. The situation has improved because of good rains. We are now hoping to see Jayakwadi reach its full capacity after 2008,” divisional commissioner Aurangabad Umakant Dangat told HT.
Marathwada battled severe drought for the fourth consecutive year in 2015-16. The region was facing unprecedented water crisis, adding to the farmers’ woes. The incessant rains, however, has changed the situation.
In Beed district, only five villages now need water from 21 tankers. Tankers deployed to supply drinking water in the state has reduced to 137, according to data from the state relief and rehabilitation department. Until June 20, around 4,982 villages in the state had no source of water and were being fed water through 6,130 tankers, the most in the recent years.