Depleting water level sparks concerns about water supply in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: The water levels in Nagarjuna Sagar Dam have plummeted, evoking concerns over the water supply in Hyderabad.

According to a report by a city-based newspaper, after Andhra Pradesh withdrew 5 tmc water, as approved by the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), the project is left with only 18 tmc above the minimum drawdown level (MDML) of 510 feet.

This leaves Telangana with a share of only 7 tmc to cater to Hyderabad, Secunderabad, and the districts of Khammam and Nalgonda. Hyderabad requires at least 1.6 tmc a month to meet its water needs.

The drinking water supply has to be supported by all means for at least another six months, that is, from February to July. Notably, Krishna River basin projects are popular for their late arrival of inflows.

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“The state’s share of the water available in the present storage of the project will last only till the first half of May,” the report further said.

Stating that the state government was planning to seek 10 tmc of water from Karnataka and 30 tmc from Koyna dam in West Maharashtra, the report claimed that the proposals had not materialized so far.

Citing the claims of irrigation officials, Telangana Today said that “Both States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh had initially agreed to restrict their utilization of water drawn from the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam exclusively to meet the drinking water needs, but AP did not stick to the commitment so far. Much of the last spell of water releases given for AP was diverted to meet the irrigation needs.”

Drawing water from the Nagarjuna Sagar project will become challenging once the water level drops down to the Minimum Draw Down Level (MDDL) of 510 feet. To meet the irrigation needs, an approach canal needs to be dug for gravity-based water extraction from the project.