Pune: Irrigation Department to Halt Water Release for Crops Amid Dwindling Dam Stocks

Khadakwasla Dam
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Pune, 2nd April 2024: The irrigation department plans to halt the current water release for crops within the next two to three weeks due to a deficit of over 2 TMC (Thousand Million Cubic feet) in the dams of the Khadakwasla circle compared to the same period last year.

This shortfall in stock could have sustained the city’s water requirements for more than a month. Data from the irrigation department reveals that as of April 1, the combined stock in the four dams of the Khadakwasla circle amounted to 12.17 TMC, representing 41% of their total capacity. In contrast, the dams held 14.55 TMC, equivalent to 50%, on April 1 last year.

An official from the irrigation department stated, “The ongoing release of water will be ceased in the coming weeks due to the diminishing stock in the dams. However, there are currently no immediate plans to reduce supply to the city. To ensure efficient water usage, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has been urged to monitor water consumption daily and utilize water judiciously until the end of May.”

Highlighting the challenges posed by this year’s diminished dam stock, the official added, “The escalating temperatures may result in increased water demand from both rural and urban areas.”

Of the four dams, the live water storage in the Panshet and Varasgaon dams has dipped below 50% of their total capacity. Collectively, these dams have a storage capacity of over 23 TMC. Meanwhile, the live stock in the Temghar dam, with a capacity of 3.7 TMC, now stands at less than 10%.

In anticipation of a delayed monsoon, the irrigation department is considering reducing the ongoing water discharge for rural areas by at least one week to avert a potential crisis. Similar measures were undertaken last year, resulting in the preservation of around 0.5 TMC of water during the water release cycle.

The ongoing water release for crops commenced last month and was expected to continue for 45 to 50 days until the third week of April. During this period, the irrigation department has been supplying water to Indapur, Daund, and replenishing ponds in Bhadalwadi, Bhigwan, and other locations.