The dwindling water levels in Marathwada has set caused alarm bells to ring. With monsoon's arrival a couple of months away, the region has only 5.5% stock left in its reservoirs. Many of these, including the biggest, Jayakwadi Dam, have dried up.
The Maharashtra government had in October declared drought in 151 tehsils spread across 26 districts, after less than average rainfall last year. Eight districts of Marathwada, which mostly comprise farm land, have been among the worst affected.
The major reservoirs, like Paithan (Jayakwadi), Manjara, Majalgaon, Yeldari, Siddeshwar, Lower Manar, Lower Terna, Lower Dudhana and Sina Kolegaon, in the region have just 0.7% stock left (dead water stock that cannot be used). Of these, only Lower Manar in Nanded has 20.63% water stock.
These reservoirs had more than 40% water stock left in April last year.
This arid region also has 81 medium and 838 minor reservoirs, which have 10.27% and 10.21% stock left respectively. The situation is likely to worsen, as with rising temperatures water evaporation is expected to increase.
Maharashtra has deployed around 2,185 tankers every day to take drinking water to these affected villages. 'We are facing severe water scarcity this year owing to less rainfall. The state has given powers to all district collectors to take decisions at their level to deal with the crisis. We do not want the people to suffer, ' said the state water resources minister, Mr. Girish Mahajan.