Water Crisis Looms Over Pune as Dams’ Storage Hits Alarming Low, Residents Urged to Conserve

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Pune, 22nd April 2024: The city of Pune is bracing itself for an imminent water crisis as the four crucial dams of the Khadakwasla project, which serve as the primary water source, are grappling with a stark decline in storage levels. With just 9.43 Thousand Million Cubic feet (TMC) of water in reserve, authorities are sounding the alarm, urging residents to conserve water amidst fears of an impending shortage.

The Khadakwasla, Temghar, Panshet, and Varasgaon dams collectively provide drinking water to Pune, sustaining the city’s populace and agricultural needs. However, the current storage levels paint a grim picture, with the available water barely sufficient to meet demand for the next 40 days. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that the reservoirs are also tasked with supplying water to Daund city and supporting agricultural activities.

Comparing the figures to last year’s data reveals a concerning trend, with a significant decrease of 2.74 TMC in water storage across the four dams. On April 21st of the previous year, the dams held 12.84 TMC, underlining the severity of the current shortage.

Of the limited water reserves, only approximately three TMC is earmarked for drinking water purposes in Pune, translating to a mere month and a half of supply. The discrepancy between sanctioned and actual water usage further compounds the issue, with Punekars exceeding their allotted quota by a staggering 5.88 TMC annually.

Adding to the complexity of the situation is the burgeoning urbanization in suburban areas, resulting in an increased demand for water. The recent inclusion of 23 additional villages within the Pune Municipal Corporation’s jurisdiction further strains existing resources, necessitating urgent action to mitigate the crisis.

In light of these challenges, a senior official from the Water Resources Department, speaking on condition of anonymity, highlighted the urgency of the situation. While efforts are underway to optimize water usage and extend the available supply, the current storage levels are projected to deplete by the end of May.

The breakdown of water storage across the dams paints a concerning picture, with Temghar, Varasgaon, Panshet, and Khadakwasla reservoirs operating at just 7.20%, 37.22%, 31.09%, and 54.94% capacity, respectively.

As Pune braces for the looming water scarcity, authorities are urging residents to heed conservation measures and adopt sustainable practices to mitigate the impact of the crisis. With the fate of the city’s water supply hanging in the balance, collective action and responsible usage are paramount in navigating through these challenging times.