Maharashtra water resources Minister Ajit Pawar underlined the severity of water scarcity in more than 150 tehsils of the state when he announced that providing water for drinking will be the priority for state-owned irrigation projects until July 15, 2010. Though water for drinking has always been the priority for irrigation projects, the government’s announcement indicates that it does not expect any significant pick up in Monsoon this year. A government resolution to this effect was issued on Monday where water resources Minister Ajit Pawar told media persons. The minister said the water situation ranged from “better to bad to worse” in different parts of the state. Average availability of water in irrigation projects in the state was 46% of the installed capacity, Mr Pawar said. On August 17 last year, it was 58%. The situation would have been worse if not for the water levels in a few major dams, he said. With cameraperson Ranjit Gupta, Dhiraj Mishra for NMTV News.