Only 2% water in Marathwada dams

There is only 2% water left in dams in drought-struck Marathwada, with a month and a half to go before the monsoon sets in. Water storage in this parched region had touched a historic low a few weeks back but has now plummeted further.
Eight of the region's 11 major dams are at dead storage level. Water from the dams has to be lifted as it cannot flow out. The Manjara and Lower Terna dams have run totally dry.
Last year at this time, the water level in Marathwada's dams was higher at 10%. This is the fourth year of drought in Marathwada in the last five years. Each of its 8,522 villages has been affected for two consecutive years.
The state government says there is enough water to last the region till the monsoon. “We are hopeful that the monsoon will come earlier this year.That is the weather department's prediction,“ said state water resources minister Girish Mahajan. Rainfall across the state has been deficient since 2014 and water levels in dams have dipped dramatically.
Dams across the state have only 16% water left, compared to 27% at this time in 2015. While Marathwada has seen the sharpest decline, dam water levels in north and western Maharashtra have halved compared to last year. Water levels in western Maharashtra's dams have dropped from 32% to 16% at this time last year. In north Maharashtra, dam water levels have fallen from 30% last year to 14%. In Amravati division, which sees the most farmer suicides in the state, dam water levels have dropped from 27% last year to 16%.
Activist Kishor Tiwari, appointed by the state to head a task-force for farmers in distressed regions, said the government should enforce a cut-back in cultivation of water-guzzling sugarcane in favour of more sustainable crops.

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