Scramble for water begins in drought-hit Maharashtra
For 35-year-old Mangal Waghmare, a farm labourer from Kamkheda village in Beed district of Marathwada, the biggest challenge every day since October has been to get enough water for her family of five.
For the next eight to 9 months before the next monsoon, Waghmare’s big fear is that the daily struggle for water and zero income will come at the cost of her daughter Neha’s education.
Kamkheda is one among all the 11 tehsils of Beed district that are hit by ‘severe drought’ this year.
Dependent on tanker services for drinking water, the big job for villagers , who have stayed back is to ensure that they don’t miss it.
But, just when the tanker could make its way to the village, is anyone’s guess.
While only 237 tankers have been pressed into service so far in Marathwada with Aurangabad district getting the larger share of 195, district collectorate officials saidthis figure could multiply by five times over next summer.
In Warudi village in Paithan tehsil of Aurangabad district, which is also reliant on tanker services, the problem of providing water for cattle has become grim.
So far, water has not been reserved in Jayakwadi as it still has 31% of live storage.
“Taken with the dead-water storage, the stock is technically enough to supply water to the city, to industries and in fact the entire district, but we will have serious distribution, water management challenges,’’ he added.
The Jayakwadi surplus water is released to Majalgaon dam for instance to irrigate an area further down in Beed district.