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N Guj to face water crisis

AHMEDABAD: The state may have received nearly 74 per cent of its annual rainfall, but it will have to depend heavily on Narmada and bore water to meet the drinking water needs of north Gujarat which has received less rainfall.

Dams in north Gujarat have just 30 per cent of water against their storage capacity. There are about 15 major and minor irrigation schemes in the region. Of these not a single is full. Officials said against the storage capacity of 69,129.99 million cubic feet (MCFT), these dams have just 20,675.52 MCFT of water.

They added that of the 195 dams in the state, 11 are overflowing. Official data revealed that 52 dams had water over 90 per cent of the storage capacity, while another 24 had over 80 per cent water. However, there were still 83 dams which have less then 40 per cent water. The remaining 36 dams have water between 80 and 40 per cent.

The data also revealed that the situation is alarming in Banaskantha where dams have just 4.9 per cent water, followed by Surendranagar with 21.25 per cent water. Dams of Ahmedabad district have 31.37 per cent water. The worrying factor for the government is that though Saurashtra-Kutch region has received good rainfall, situation in Surendranagar is bad.

Official said that dams of Saurashtra and south Gujarat have 63 per cent water while those in central Gujarat have nearly 61 per cent water. However, north Gujarat will have to depend heavily on the Narmada dam which is overflowing.

Officials said for the past three years till date, there has always been over 60 per cent of water in the dams. They said the situation this year was not so alarming as compared to last year. However the north region has virtually no water in the dams.

Water supply and water resources minister Nitin Patel said, "The situation was not satisfactory in north Gujarat. We will have to depend heavily on ground water and Narmada for drinking water needs. Farmers have already drawn required water from dams and check dams. Hence there would be no more drawing of water from dams."
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