Goa stares at water crisis, dams depleting rapidly



The government's might be downplaying depleting water levels in reservoirs -- a recurring concern every summer season -- with assurances of sufficient storage, but the ground reality in several parts of Goa including semi-urban areas portrays a starkly different narrative amid concerns that maximum dams have limited water storage.

Out of the seven dams, three currently hold less than 40 per cent of their total water storage capacity, while two dams have less than 50 per cent.

In an unexpected turn, the Tillari reservoir, which previously boasted a steady water storage level of 91 per cent, has plummeted to 48 per cent capacity within a gap of just 10 days – indicating pressing demand for water and numerous areas still grappling with unmet water needs.

The Selaulim water dam, serving as a vital water source for several places in the South district including Margao, Vasco, Quepem, Sanguem and the surrounding rural regions, has been witnessing a gradual drop in water level for obvious reasons.

As of April 2, Friday, the dam’s water level stood at 46 per cent. Information revealed by the Water Resources Department states that the reservoir also alleviates water scarcity at the Opa Water Works, which caters to a substantial portion of North Goa. Beyond its fundamental function of providing drinking water to households, the consistent and reliable water supply also contributes to industrial development of South Goa.

Similarly, the Amthane reservoir, which supplies water to the Bardez, Pernem, and Bicholim talukas, was at 36 per cent capacity as on Friday, a two per cent decrease within a span of 10 days. The Panchwadi reservoir, fulfilling the water needs of villages like Panchwadi and Shiroda, stands at 35 per cent capacity, mirroring the situation at the Anjunem reservoir, which serves Sattari and parts of Bicholim taluka in North Goa. What’s concerning is that the water level at Anjunem dropped from 62.6 per cent on April 3 to 35 per cent on Friday.

The Chapoli reservoir, catering to the water requirements of Canacona taluka, recorded a water level of 59.4 per cent on April 3, which decreased to 56 per cent by Friday. Similarly, the Gaunem reservoir currently holds 54 percent of its water stock.

At a press conference held over a week ago, Water Resources Minister Subhash Shirodkar claimed Goa had enough water storage for the next two months. 

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