NAGPUR: Holi celebrations could well be subdued this year with appeals coming from political as well as social leaders to avoidwastage of water during the festival of colours.

The seriousness of the water crisis, largely due to the severe drought in Marathwada, western Maharashtra and Buldhana district of Vidarbha, can be gauged from the fact that only 30% of water is left in reservoirs of the state put together.

As per the reservoir water storage-level, figures released by the chief minister’s office, as on Monday in a total of 2475 irrigation dams comprising large, medium, small and other projects with total capacity of 37,460 million cubic meter (mcm), the actual water level had depleted to 11,329 mcm – down to 30% of the capacity. More alarming is that with the onslaught of summer, the depletion rate is already between 1 to 3% per week. InMarathwada region, where reservoir levels are already down to 10%, it is feared that they will go completely dry before rains arrive some three months from now.

In the worst-hit Marathwada region’s 803 irrigation dams’ reservoirs, of the total 7576 mcm capacity, barely 732 mcm which is less than 10% remains for use. In the same period last year the balance water stock was 23% last year and 45% in 2011. The situation is no better in Nashik region where the storage level is down to 23%, in Pune it’s 31%.

The situation is comfortable only in Konkan region with water stocks of over 53%. Even Amravati division in Vidarbha is precarious with reservoirs levels at 30%. Nagpur division’s 366 reservoirs have 1420 mcm or 36% of water in them to tide over the severe summer months ahead. Last year the stocks were down to 30% but a year before that, 45% water was left in the corresponding period.

Water woes

Marathwada 10%

Pune 31%

Nashik 23%

Amravati 30%

Nagpur 36%

Konkan 53%

(Water levels in reservoirs as on Monday)