In monsoon-deficit Marathwada, water level in Jayakwadi dam crosses 90% mark

Dried up Godavari river in drought-hit Marathwada. (File)

EVEN AS Marathwada continues to face an overall monsoon deficit of over 20 per cent, water storage levels in the region s largest dam Jayakwadi in Paithan taluka crossed 90 per cent a first in two years. By 3 pm on Tuesday, the Nath Sagar reservoir at the Jayakwadi dam was 90.86 per cent full, owing mainly to the continuing overflow of east-flowing waters from Nashik.

While the water level in the reservoir crossed 50 per cent just a week ago, going from one-third to half full overnight as Nath Sagar received more than 2 lakh cusec from the upstream dams on the Godavari, inflow slowed down considerably over the past two days as river water level upstream receded alongside the break in the rain.

The eight districts of Marathwada have collectively received over 75 per cent of the average rainfall for this time of the year, though some talukas continue to face acute water scarcity and large rain deficits. The neighbouring Nashik pision has received 120 per cent of its average for this time of the year.

On Tuesday, inflow into Jayakwadi slowed to 12,366 cusec, while 600 cusec were released from the left bank canal and 900 cusecs from the right bank canal of the dam. Water was also released through the third outlet at the hydroelectric station at a speed of 1,589 cusec.

An official at the Water Resources Department said water is being released in a controlled manner through the barrages downstream, after water was released earlier to flow into the Majalgaon dam in Beed district, which is among seven major dams in the region that are now at dead storage. Some of these dams are witnessing record low levels on account of continued drawing of water from dead storage through the long hydrological drought stretching from October-November 2018 until the arrival of the 2019 south-west monsoon.

Located in Paithan, the Jayakwadi dam across the Godavari is the chief source of water supply for the region s major industries in Aurangabad and Jalna, as well as to nearly 2.5 lakh hectares of farmland spread across the region.

The healthy reservoir level also mostly assures Aurangabad city s water supply for most of the year until the next monsoon. Farmland in parts of Aurangabad, Jalna, Parbhani and Beed districts will get respite from monsoon deficit on account of release of water via Jayakwadi s canal system.