Hyderabad: The Krishna River Management Board Working Group on Monday decided to release 4.3 TMC ft of water from Srisailam dam to meet the drinking water needs of both Telangana and AP.
Accordingly it was decided to release 5,000 cusecs (cubic feet of water per second) per day from the dead storage of Srisailam for 10 days to downstream Nagarjunasagar from where both states will pick up for their drinking water needs.
It is the worst-ever situation being faced by the two states this year as far as storage at Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar is concerned: The two dams with a combined storage capacity of 527 TMC ft, have only 161 TMC ft which is below the Minimum Draw Down Level considered dead storage. Not a single cusec of water has flown to Srisailam so far this year.
The three-member KRMB working group headed by secretary R.K. Gupta, and engineers-in-chief C. Muralidhar (Telangana) and M. Venkateswara Rao (AP) met on Monday evening and decided to utilise the Srisailam dead storage water strictly for drinking needs.
Mr Gupta instructed officials to adhere to the orders at any cost as the situation in Krishna basin projects in both the states was alarming. However. water from Srisailam will be released through Right Bank Power House that belongs to AP which will benefit by way of power generation. On Monday, the water level at Srisailam was 802.40 ft with an estimated 30 TMC ft of water.
This is only speculative, as sedimentation at the dam is causing an alarming proposition. According to engineering officials, Srisailam after further depletion of 4.3 TMC ft in 10 days, would be left with a maximum of 6 TMC ft. It is anticipated that if there are no inflows in 10 days the water available at Srisailam would also be diverted to the NS dam by operating river sluice gates.
From June 1, Almatti and Narayanpur dams in Karnataka have received 137 TMC ft (11,150 cusecs per day is equal to 1 TMC ft of water) besides their dead storage. The entire inflows were used for generation of power as well as for irrigation purposes under Upper Krishna Project.
The first major irrigation project on Krishna river in Telangana which is downstream of Narayanapur dam has so far got only 1.11 TMC ft of water that too due to local rains.
Nagarjunasagar dam on the Krishna river got 3.05 TMC ft of water mostly contributed by local rains.