The rivers are in spate and the dams overflowing in the Marathwada region, one of the country’s most drought-prone areas. Just a few years ago, water scarcity in Latur city in the region had reached such grim proportions that a water train had to be operated.
This year, Latur district has already received over 100% of its normal rainfall. Much like Latur, five other districts in this region have received over 100% of their normal rainfall and seven of 11 major dams are overflowing here. The collective water storage in all dams in the region is 192.4 TMC, which is almost 75% of the combined storage capacity and double that during the corresponding period last year.
While the region already received 774mm, or 114% of the normal rainfall, till Monday, more rain is expected across Marathwada. Officials across the region, especially those in Beed, Latur and Osmanabad districts that often reel under scarcity, said there is sufficient water available for drinking purposes till next monsoon.
Jaisingh Hire, assistant engineer with the Command Area Development Authority, Aurangabad, said seven of the 11 major irrigation projects supplying water to Marathwada are overflowing currently, while the rest also hold considerable stock when compared to the average stock in the past. “The region will not witness any drinking water crisis as these dams, along with other reservoirs and barrages, hold sufficient water. Moreover, irrigation needs can be addressed effectively as majority of dams hold over 33% live storage, which is benchmark for releasing water for agricultural purposes,” he said.
Latur collector G Sreekanth said district has sufficient water to cater to drinking needs till December 2021.