Well into the first week of July, there still seem to be no clear signs of the monsoon in Maharashtra, due to which the water situation across the state is worsening. To add to the troubles, the water in Koyna dam has reached the base level.
For the first time since 1995, water levels at Koyna have fallen so much. According to experts, the situation has arisen because water has been lifted from the dam for irrigation and power generation. The capacity of the dam is 105 thousand million cubic (TMC), but now only 8.5 TMC water is available.
The declining water levels have already led to the partial shutdown of two major power plants, and a power crisis now looms large in the state. The Koyna hydro project, which has the capacity to produce 2000 MW electricity, is currently producing only around 1000 MW of power.
The chance of drought in Northwest India is now 80%, Central India, 75%, and South India is 50%. However, August is expected to be better than other months. The situation seems to be a weakness in the majority of subdivisions of North West India (Gujarat, Saurashtra, Kutch, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana), West central India (East MP, West MP, Marathwada, Vidarbha, Madhya Maharashtra, North Interior Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana) and South India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rayalaseema) during the season.
According to Jatin Singh, CEO of Skymet, a private weather forecasting company, "The weakness in the Monsoon could possibly be attributed to El Nino." El Nino is a phenomenon wherein the Central and East Pacific Ocean warms in turn weakening the Monsoon. El Nino has commenced with the weakening of easterly winds and increasing ocean heat content. Central and east equatorial Pacific Ocean temperatures are already warmer by more than 0.5°C.
Due to less than 25% rainfall in the 74 towns of Marathwada region, sowing of kharif crops has also been stalled. In the interior part of the region, water is being supplied to around 500 villages, through tankers.