Pune: Mutha River Gets Lowest Water Release In Five Years As Khadakwasla Dam Faces Dwindling Reserves

Khadakwasla Dam
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Khadakwasla, 28th October 2023: The Khadakwasla dam, a pivotal component of a four-dam chain project, has witnessed the lowest water discharge into the Mutha River in the past five years. This decline is attributed to below-average rainfall in the catchment areas of all four dams.


This year, Varasgaon and Panshet dams achieved full capacity, while Temghar dam fell short of its maximum volume. Despite the Khadakwasla dam reaching complete capacity twice during the season, subsequent rains have led to a reduction in its storage, now standing at less than 45 percent.


The cumulative impact of diminished water reserves in these dams is evident, with only 1.10 billion cubic feet (TMC) released into the Mutha River from the Khadakwasla dam this year, marking the lowest discharge in the past five years.


The city depends on water supply from the Temghar, Varasgaon, Panshet, and Khadakwasla dams, traditionally replenished by heavy annual rainfall in their catchment areas. However, this year’s reduced rainfall has constrained the reservoirs’ capacities, affecting both urban drinking water provisions and rural agricultural needs.


Typically, excess water flows from these dams into the Mutha River, eventually reaching the Ujni dam, aiding in its filling. This year, the Ujni dam remains at only 57.13 percent of its capacity, holding 30.61 TMC, as the four dams did not reach their full potential.


The disparities in rainfall are evident when examining the catchment areas’ statistics for the year: Temghar received 2,588 mm, while Varasgaon and Panshet recorded 1646 mm and 1634 mm, respectively. In contrast, the Khadakwasla catchment area reported a significantly lower 585 mm of rainfall.


Reflecting on the last five years, the water releases from the Khadakwasla dam into the Mutha River have experienced fluctuations: in 2018, approximately 20 TMC was discharged; 2019 witnessed over 20 TMC due to delayed rains until the end of October; in 2020, 12.75 TMC flowed into the river; 2021 saw 6.54 TMC due to deficient rainfall, while 2022 marked 16 TMC release. However, 2023 stands out with a mere 1.10 TMC released into the Mutha riverbed from the Khadakwasla dam.