Entire Canacona Taluka is reeling under the problem of water shortage with water being supplied on alternate days only in some areas. Locals are compelled to fetch water from springs and wells to overcome the shortage.
Residents have been complaining of inadequate water supply since December and are worried that if this is the situation in the month of February, than the gravity of the shortage problem will escalate to alarming proportions by the summer months of April and May. Water shortage has been causing significant inconvenience to people staying in the Canacona Muncipality areas too.
Chapoli dam supplies water to areas under Canacona Muncipality as well as Paiguin, Lolyem, Shristhal, Agonda etc. While water harvested from dyke at Ardhophond is pulled and distributed via pipelines to Canacona residents after getting it purified through the water treatment plant at Shristhal. The practice is being followed for the past 30-35 years.
Canacona taluka receives an abundance of rainfall every year and has a number of water bodies in the form of streams, lakes and rivers. Rain water, however, is not being harvested in the region. According to statistics, over 70 percent of rain water is not harvested in Canacona.
Both the prominent water reservoirs – Chapoli Dam and Ardhophond dyke have ample amount of water due to satisfactory rainfall during this year. Despite this, since December water taps is various areas of Canacona are receiving water on alternate days only. Citizens allege that this is happening due to lack of synergy between various agencies involved in water storage, purification and supply such as Water Resource Department, Agriculture Department, PWD (Water Supply) department etc.
Citizens feel that the water supply system has totally collapsed causing them significant hardships. Villagers from Angond, Mastimal etc have been holding morchas and agitations to highlight the problem and compel the authorities to come to a solution to their woes. The department officials have assured the citizens time and again that their water woes would be sorted out. But no change has occurred in the water supply released say residents.
Shristhal has two water treatment plants of 10 and 5 MLD respectively. But the Water Supply department is unable to supply the quantity of water that is required by the purification plant. Due to this only 7-8 MLD of water gets purified every day and this is not enough to cater to the requirements of the population of the large area of the Canacona Taluka This according to water treatment plant sources is the primary reason for the water shortage problem.
The water rich Canacona Taluka has been facing water shortage problem during the summer months for past several years now. Several initiatives have been taken up to overcome the problem but lack of effective implementation mechanism is the main reason why the problem still persists.
To regularize the water supply in the area a mini dam is being constructed at Gavne village in the Gaodongri Panchayat area. The mini dam was which was expected to be completed by 2015 is still under construction.
When Canacona water resources department assistant engineer Krushnamurti Patil was quizzed over this he said that that the dam work will pick up once the main gate of the mini dam for which an order has been placed at the Maharashtra water resources department is delivered.
Earlier, due to frequent power failures in Canacona the pump house at the water treatment plant could not function. A generator was also been set up at the pump house of the treatment plant at Shristahl to take care of this issue. Despite this the water shortage problem still persists say irked vilagers.
With an objective of harvesting water for irrigation around 17 bandharas were also constructed by the Canacona irrigation department, Margao, work division IX and work division II. The bandharas are situated along river Talpona from Cotigao to Ardhofond and along the Gaondongrem river till it meets the Talpona river. Barring a few of the bandharas most of them have dried up and have become unfruitful to farmers for irrigation purpose. It is learnt that except for Dabel and Zatremol bandharas which are ideal for water storage, most of the other bandharas has seepage of water and need urgent attention.