Heavy downpour fails to increase water stocks in dams
THANE: Though the monsoon continues to lash the city, the absence of rainfall in catchment areas is a cause of worry for the irrigation department which has decided to efficiently use water from reservoirs.
The department has completely stopped using water from the Barvi dam for the last two days and has instead asked the respective agencies to pump out rain water from rivers before it reaches the sea.
This year till Friday, the total rainfall in three city dams — Barvi, Andra and Bhatsa dams — is almost one-third than that of last year at this time.
The available water resource may last till July 15; however, if the rainfall continues to elude catchment areas, citizens may have to face more water cuts. The irrigation department is likely to take decision on this by next week.
“Rain water which does not seep into the ground flows into river through nullahs. This water ultimately meets the sea and is wasted. We decided to use this water before it reaches the sea,” said Subhash Waghmare, superintending engineer, Thane Irrigation department.
The department keeps a watch on rainfall every two hours. “When a particular city or village receives good rainfall, we know into which river this water will flow. We immediately alert agencies concerned which pump water out. We have kept a watch on Jambul and Mohane areas of the Ulhas river which is the prime source of water for Thane,” said Waghmare.
This water suffices at least for six to seven hours for the district. Apart from the rain water, the water from Andra dam is also used.
Though rainfall in the Thane city crossed 100 mm in few hours on Friday, it was 34 mm and 13 mm in the Barvi and Bhatsa dams. The total rainfall in Barvi and Andra dams this year is 180 mm and 103 mm as opposed to the total rainfall of last year which was 400 mm and 430 mm.
“For the dams to start receiving water, there should be at least 250 to 300 mm rainfall in the upstream areas, or the catchment parts, of theses dams. Moreover, this year rainfall in the sea or creek area is more than those in the mountainous areas of Karjat, Lonavla or Khandala. Every year, the situation is reversed. Unless it rains in the mountain areas and the waterfalls start gushing, the water won’t flow into the dams,” Waghmare said.