The water crisis in the drought-struck region of Marathwada is worsening long before the summer sets in.Water levels in the region’s dams are already down to 6% of capacity . Six of the region’s 11 major dams are at dead storage level. The biggest dam in the region, Jayakwadi, has only 2% water left.
Last year at this time, water levels in Marathwada’s dams were much higher, at 18%.“There is extreme scarcity of water in Marathwada. In the worst-affected areas of Beed, Latur and Osmanabad, the water level in dams is 1% or less,“ said Aurangabad divisional commissioner Umakant Dangat. However, he said that surface water was still available.
Water resources minister Girish Mahajan said water supply to industries outside the main industrial hub of Aurangabad could be hit in the coming months. “Drinking water is the first priority . Currently, the Jayakwadi dam has eno ugh water for the Aurangabad industrial area but smaller industries in other districts could be affected,“ he said.
While Marathwada has faced two successive drought years, rainfall across the state has been deficient since 2014.The result: Dam water levels have dipped dramatically . Dams across Maharashtra have only 27% of the ir water left, compared to 43% at this time in 2015. Water levels in the state’s major dams are at a five-year low for this time of the year.