Dams nearly 50% dry; PMC officials say rain over next week only hope

Water resource department released Khadakwasla reservoir water on July 11 after it was filled to full capacity following rains. (File)

Eleven days after an alert was sounded in city for possible flood-like situation, scant rainfall over the last week and plummeting water level in the four dams supplying drnking water to the city has left the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) worried.

Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon and Temghar dams, with a total storage capacity of 29.15 thousand million cubic feet (TMC), supply drinking water to the Pune municipal area.

There is around 14.85 TMC water in the four dams, which is a little over 50 per cent of their total capacity. Last year, the stock was 22.64 TMC on July 22, which is 77.68 per cent of the total capacity, a civic officer said.

Calling it a wait-and-watch situation, the officer said, a good bout of monsoon spell in the next few days was necessary to ensure that the PMC does not have to further water rationing.

The mayor has directed the civic administration to restore water supply in the city and ensure it was supplied at least once a day. However, the Pune Municipal Corporation needs to take permission from the water resource department which has put restrictions on the use of water (from the four dams) by the civic body, the officer said.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), monsoon is likely to see a revival in the state, including Pune, this week. There is still hope of a good rain in next few days that will change the water availability in the dams, the officer said.

Water in the four dams had dipped to 4 TMC before the onset of rains this year, following which the water resource department had to introduce water cuts to ensure available stock till the rains reached the city.

Since the onset of monsoon, Pune recorded 572.9 mm rainfall so far.

On July 11, the water resource department was compelled to issue an alert for a possible flood-like situation and release water in Mutha river after Khadakwasla reservoir, having a total capacity of 1.97 TMC, was filled to its capacity.

The Khadakwasla reservoir is smallest of the four dams. The other dams are merely half filled.