0.4% water in Marathwada dams

There is only 0.4% water left in the dams in drought-struck Marathwada, with over 10 days to go before the monsoon is expected in the state. Water levels here had touched a historic low last month but have now plummeted further.
Nine of the region's 11 major dams are at dead storage level. This means that water from the dams cannot flow out but has to be lifted.Two of these dams--Manjara and Lower Terna--have run totally dry . Last year, at this time, the water level in Marathwada's dams was much higher at 7%.
This is the fourth year of drought in Marathwada. Each of its 8,522 villages has been affected for two consecutive years. Crop yield has been hit by at least 70%.
The state government says the water stock in the region will last till the rains.“We will have to use water carefully but we have enough stock to last till the rains,“ said Aurangabad divisional commissioner Umakant Dangat. Weather predictions suggest an early and plentiful monsoon this year. Over 3,600 water tankers are providing water to the region. The state government has also taken over 6,000 private wells. “This is the worst drought Marathwada has faced. It is a meteorological, hydrological and agricultural drought,“ said Dangat.
Critics said it was high time the state government took hard decisions on the cultivation of water-guzzling sugarcane in the historically arid region. The Chitale committee had in 1999 advised against sugarcane cultivation in Marathwada,“ said water expert Pradeep Purandare.
He criticized the state government's flagship water conservation scheme, Jalyukata Shivar. “The scheme has to be implemented scientifically, otherwise it will lead to an ecological disaster,“ he warned.

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