Greenpeace demands urgent assessment of water diversion to thermal power plants

Warns state to take weak monsoon forecast, low reservoir levels seriously

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Press release - April 29, 2014
April 28, 2014: Last week, amid the prediction of a weak monsoon in Maharashtra in 2014, the Water Resources Department released its weekly report on the current water availability in the state's reservoirs. The report[1] indicated that the total water levels in the reservoirs of Marathwada were already dismally low at 31 percent - Jayakwadi dam (Aurangabad) had only 13 percent water available, Majalgaon (Beed) only 23 percent and Manjra (Beed), Lower Terna and Sina Kolegaon (Osmanabad) ran dry.

In its report 'Coal Power Plants and Water Use in Maharashtra'2[2] released last year, Greenpeace analysed water consumption by four operational coal-fired power plants - Parli in Beed, Bhusawal Thermal Power Station in Jalgaon, Paras in Akola and Nasik Thermal Power station in Nasik and raised questions over their water consumption during the 2012 drought.

Talking about the current predictions, Greenpeace campaigner Bhagwan Kesbhat said, "Maharashtra government's casual and careless approach towards planning of water resources in the state have led to large amounts of water being diverted to coal-powered thermal plants. The state needs to take a cue from the recent weather predictions of below average rainfall and ensure that sufficient water is reserved for domestic and irrigation purposes. An immediate assessment of the water diverted to all power plants in the state is obligatory at this point."

Kesbhat pointed out that if counter-measures are not initiated in a timely manner, there is a fear of a repeat of the 2012-13 drought.

Notes:

[1] http://www.mahawrd.org/ - dam storage/April 21

[2] http://www.greenpeace.org/india/Global/india/docs/Coal-Power-Plants-and-water-use-in-Maharashtra.pdf

For further information, contact:

Bhagwan Kesbhat, Campaigner, Greenpeace India: +91 92212 50399,

Nitya Kaushik, Media Officer, Greenpeace India: +91 98199 02763,

Ishan Choudhary, Media Officer, Greenpeace India: +91 90293 06421

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