Heavy rainfall helps in substantial water stock in Maharashtra dams
The state reservoirs have the stock up to 51% of their collective capacity, against the stock of 41% last year on the day
The heavy rainfall for a week since July 22 across the state has helped in a significant rise in the water stock. The state reservoirs have the stock up to 51% of their collective capacity, against the stock of 41% last year on the day. This has resulted in sowing for the Kharif crops over 85% of the area under cultivation and the farmers are expecting good agricultural crops this season.
The incessant rainfall across the state since July 22 has resulted in the state recording 125% of its average rainfall till July 31. Against the average of 538.5mm rainfall on this day, the state has recorded 674.2mm rains this monsoon. It was 522.3mm last year on the same day. At 145% (464mm) till today, drought-prone Central Maharashtra has received the highest rainfall until now, while it is 137% (2367mm against average 1726mm) in the Konkan division. Barring Nashik division, which covers north Maharashtra, all other divisions have received more than 100% of their average rainfall till July 31. Nashik has so far received 75% or 269mm against an average of 358mm.
Of the 353 tehsils in the state, 273 have reported more than 100% rainfall, while only eight tehsils in Nandurbar, Dhule and Nashik have received rains between 25% and 50% of their average rainfall.
This has also resulted in the rise in the water stock in the state reservoirs to 51% against the stock of 41% last year on the same day. “Though central Maharashtra has reported more than average rainfall in first two months of the monsoon, the water stock in the dams in the region have the accumulated stock of 35.04%, lowest among the other five divisions, against 39.5% last year on the same day,” said an official from the water resources department. He said that it was because not all the districts have received equal rainfall.
The officer said that the water stock in 3,267 dams of all sizes, has increased significantly in the past 10 days. 20,440 million cubic meter (MCM) or 33.39% on July 21, it has increased to 27,935 MCM.
The sowing average in the state stands at around 90%, with the area under cultivation of soybean and udid has increased.
“We can expect good production and productivity this year in the wake of the satisfactory rainfall. In drought-prone central Maharashtra, the sowing in three districts (Aurangabad, Jalna and Beed) has crossed 98%, while in other districts too is excellent. Cash crops like cotton, soybean will do better this year. The area under cultivation for soybean has increased because of the procurement price of soybean mounting to ₹9,800 per quintal from ₹5000 last year. If any prolonged dry spell is not witnessed in near future, the production and productivity of crops will be much better this year,” said SB Varade, farm and irrigation expert.
An official from the agriculture department of the state said that if the crops are not stressed due to the dry spells in the remaining period of monsoon, they can expect as satisfactory production as last year.