Maharashtra considers artificial rains to tackle deficient monsoon 




The State government is considering cloud seeding to tackle deficient rainfall in parts of Maharashtra hoping that artificial rain could save kharif crops and also address depleted water levels in dams.

Maharashtra Minister for Water Supply Gulabrao Patil speaking to reporters said that he has already started discussions on artificial rains in the State cabinet. “We would consult scientists to check about the conducive atmosphere for artificial rains. We have discussed this matter,” said Patil.     

Also Read | El Nino: Sea sub-surface temperatures up again from July-end, says US weather agency 

Earlier, the government of India had made it clear that artificial rain making techniques involving cloud seeding cannot be used for bringing rain clouds to rainfall deficit/drought areas. These techniques can only induce potential pre-existing clouds, already passing over a given place, to produce enhanced quantum of rain.

The government is keen to experiment with artificial rains as many districts in Maharashtra facing a monsoon deficit of 9- 21 per cent. The State has received less rainfall recording eight per cent deficit. Between 1 June to August end, State receive 772.4 mm rain fall and the actual rainfall recorded during this season is 709.5 mm.

Central parts of Maharashtra have reported rain deficit of 21 per cent while Marathwada region has 18 per cent deficit. Vidarbha has deficit of 9 per cent.

Also Read | India receives 36% below normal rains during Aug 1-14 

Dam water levels

Dams in Aurangabad region have only 31.51 per cent of water storage setting alarm bells ringing. Last year same month dams in the region had 75 per cent water. Nashik region dams have 61 per cent water compared to 79 per cent while Amravati region dams have 70 per cent water compared to 87 per cent last year. Even in the Pune region, considered as the sugar belt of Maharashtra water levels in dams are low compared to the last year.

Farmers are worried about the kharif crop as the State government has made it clear that drinking water would be given first preference. 


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