The catchment areas of all the four dams in the Khadakwasla dam chain project have experienced below average rainfall this year. Varasgaon and Panshet dams were completely filled, while Temghar dam did not reach its maximum capacity.
Although the Khadakwasla dam reached its full capacity twice during the monsoon, the water storage in the dam decreased to less than 45 percent due to less rainfall in later stages.
Consequently, all four dams have released a significantly reduced amount of water into the Mutha river this year.
Only 1.10 billion cubic feet (TMC) of water was discharged from the Khadakwasla dam into the Mutha river, marking the lowest water discharge in the past five years.
The city receives its water supply from four dams: Temghar, Varasgaon, Panshet, and Khadakwasla. These dams have catchment areas that experience heavy rainfall annually, ensuring an abundant water supply for both drinking purposes in the city and agricultural needs in the rural areas.
Additionally, the rainfall in the catchment areas of these dams leads to their complete filling, resulting in a significant release of water from the Mutha River.
This water then flows and merges with the Ujni dam, aiding in its replenishment. However, this year, the Ujni dam has not reached its maximum capacity of 100 percent due to the incomplete filling of all four dams. Currently, the remaining water in Ujni dam amounts to 30.61 TMC, which accounts for 57.13 percent of its total capacity.
Throughout the season this year, the catchment area of Temghar dam received 2,588 mm rainfall, while Varasgaon and Panshet dams received 1646 mm and 1634 mm respectively. The catchment area of Khadakwasla dam, on the other hand, only received 585 mm of rainfall. Rain has been recorded in the area. In 2018, 20 TMC water was released from Khadakwasla dam into Mutha river, while in 2019, more than 20 TMC of water was released due to delayed rains. In 2020, 12.75 TMC water was released, and in 2021, only 6.54 TMC water was released due to deficient rainfall. In 2022, 16 TMC water was released, and in 2023, 1.10 TMC water was released into the Mutha river bed from Khadakwasla dam.
Speaking to Pune Pulse, Shweta Kurade, Executive Engineer, told, ‘Even if the maximum amount of water is not discharged into the dam river, there is no cause for concern as nearby small streams provide sufficient water to the river.’