Reservoir basins in district drying up due to weak rain

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THANE: A weak rainfall over the last few days coupled with the gradualdrying up of basins at the base of Bhatsa and Barvi reservoirs over the lastfew days is forcing municipal corporations including Thane and Mumbai tostart drawing water from the dams early this year.The phenomenon that is usually witnessed in October has beenwitnessed starting September this time causing water supply officials toworry of an imminent water crisis till the next monsoon if it does notshower heavily over the next few days. However, the weather departmenthas assured of some heavy rains in the next few days, raising hopes of theirrigation department of having adequate water to last next year.

Officials said that the river basins have till last year had adequate water at this time of the season due to which the dependency on dam stock used to be nil as corporations lifted water from the weirs located at the base of the reservoirs which used to get the supply from mountain streams. However, the scenario has changed this year, said officials.

“The dependency on dam water is usually required from October as the river basin has ample water. This year, the situation has turned different with the weirs running dry and we have requested water to be released from the Bhatsa dam from the first week of September itself,” said a water supply department from one of the corporations drawing water from it.

The two major reservoirs have less water at this time of the year unlike last which experts attribute to the daily drawing of water and heat waves over the catchment area that could also have triggered evaporation.

As per the mid-September storage volume of the dams, the water levels in these dams is less compared to last year when some of them were 100 per cent full, said an official.

The Bhatsa dam that is the largest reservoir in the district has just 96 per cent stock as compared to the near 98 per cent volume by mid-September last year. In comparison, the Barvi dam that is a major supplier of water to the residential and industrial pockets in the district is 98 per cent filled while it was full to its capacity last year.

Officials from the irrigation department have assured there is no reason to panic as there is enough quota to meet the demand of the district till next year. “The water levels are less as there is no addition to the water levels due to lack of heavy rain in the past several days. However, there is no reason for us to worry as the stock in the dams is enough to last till mid-July next year. Usually, rain that picks up at the end of the monsoon helps increase the stock in the dams,” said an official.

Meanwhile, the meteorology department has predicted heavy rains in North Konkan accompanied with thunder and lighting over the next few days, which officials claim could improve the situation.

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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