Water crisis hits Marathwada

With monsoon still a couple of months away, the dwindling water stock in drought-hit Marathwada has set alarm bells ringing. The region has only 5.5% water stock left in its reservoirs, with many of them, including the biggest – Jayakwadi Dam, having dried up.

The state government in October had declared drought in 151 tehsils spread across 26 districts of Maharashtra, after less than average rainfall last year.

The eight districts of Marathwada, which mostly comprises agricultural land, were among the worst hit. The state has now deployed around 2,185 tankers every day to supply drinking water to the affected villages in the region.

The nine major reservoirs Paithan (Jayakwadi), Manjara, Majalgaon, Yeldari, Siddeshwar, Lower Manar, Lower Terna, Lower Dudhana and Sina Kolegaon – in Marathwada have just 0.7% water stock left (dead water stock that cannot be used to drink). Of the nine, only Lower Manar Dam at Nanded has 20.63% water stock left.

In April last year, these reservoirs had more than 40% water stock left. The region also has 81 medium and 838 minor reservoirs, which have 10.27% and 10.21% water stock left respectively.

The situation is expected to worsen, as with rising temperatures, evaporation of water is set to increase. Officials said Aurangabad, Beed and Jalna are the worst-affected districts in the region.

25 temporary water supply schemes. Currently, 924 tankers have been deployed to supply water to 625 villages in the district and the number is set to increase.

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