Fewer users on roll could affect water reservation

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The water demand registered with Gangapur dam complex by farmers in Nashik is not up to the mark and reservation for agriculture purposes is likely to be affected, feel officials from the water resources department (WRD).
The water demand has to be calculated and told to the Godavari Marathwada Irrigation Development Corporation (GMIDC), which decides the water reservation after monsoon. The only way to calculate the demand is through contract between farmers, villagers, companies and the municipal council or corporations with the water resources department. The contract agreement is the document that establishes right of the water user with the said quantity of water stored in the dam.
“While the industries, companies, municipal councils and corporations enter into agreement, for an individual farmers, the best way is to form Water Users Association (WUA) for a specific region and register with the department to seek water,” a senior official from WRD said.
The officer added that there are a large number of farmers on Gangapur Left Bank Canal that provides water to farms and gram panchayats along its way. “These farmers had complained when water was released from Gangapur dam to Jayakwadi when there was drought in the region. The GMIDC had decided to release on the merit of demand and accordingly left only small quantity of water to meet the agriculture and drinking purposes in the region. The remaining water was released downstream,” the officer said.

The officials said that the situation would have been different if the farmers had formed WUAs and registered their demand with the department. “While there are lesser chances of a repeat of the situation, it has to be noted that the records of water usage would be a key factor to decide water sharing and planning of water diversion schemes. While we have already appealed to the farmers to register themselves through WUA, nobody has come forward so far. The registration and demand will also help us manage the water distribution system,” the officer said.
Nashik district has Federation of Water Users’ Association on Waghad project, which not only instilled discipline among the farmers, but also helps plan water usage from eight-month canal for year-round needs.
“Technically, we are allowed water use for eight months including the kharif season. But meticulous planning helps us carry out irrigation round the year,” Bharat Kawle, one of the founders of the WUA, functioning since 1991, said.
Source: The Times of India city
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