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Water Crisis Looms Over AP as Monsoon Delay Impacts Irrigation Projects

DECCAN CHRONICLE | Nagabhsuahanm Hoskote

Published on: June 27, 2023 | Updated on: June 27, 2023

The Tungabhadra reservoir remained in a worse condition in the past 10 years of average storage due to the rain deficit and drought this season. (Representational Image: DC)

Anantapur: A delay in the arrival of Southwest monsoon continued to adversely impact major irrigation projects of AP under the Krishna basin. Poor inflows and less storage are major concerns during what should be the peak rainy season.  

Medium irrigation projects are reporting minimum storage levels to meet the emergency needs of drinking water and irrigation in Rayalaseema region.  

The Tungabhadra reservoir remained in a worse condition in the past 10 years of average storage due to the rain deficit and drought this season. TB dam, an interstate project with its major sources of inflows from the Western Ghats through Southwest monsoon, had experienced an adverse impact even for about a month after its entry.

On Tuesday, TB dam recorded only 4.06 tmc-ft storage with worse inflows of 228 cusecs. There were 139 cusecs last year.

TB dam has 10.86 tmc-ft storage capacity and is in a deserted condition. TB dam officials said average inflow into the reservoir during the last 10 years was 7,309 cusecs, but there was havoc during this year.

"If no flash floods are reported in upstream parts of the Western Ghats, the situation would be worse. There would even be a change in the allocations to AP and a part of Telangana, including Karnataka," a board official said.   

The TB dam condition is to adversely impact on the projects downstream of AP up to Srisailam dam and also Nagarjunasagar due to the connectivity of Krishna river.

The Srisailam dam recorded only 15 per cent fill of water, at 33.58 tmc-ft, as against the full storage capacity of 215.81 tmc-ft. The water level is maintained at 808.7-ft and this is not beneficial for the Rayalaseema  sources.  

The other major source of Almatti in Karnataka was still with 15 per cent fill of water and there were no inflows into the reservoir so far. On Tuesday, Almatti dam recorded a level of just 20.2tmc-ft as against its full storage capacity of 129.72tmc-ft.  

However, the medium projects continued with minimum storage of water coming from sources of HNSS and GNSS projects even in drought-hit areas of Rayalaseema region.

The Jurala project is maintained at 7.76tmc-ft level, with 80 pc capacity and is discharging 1562 cusecs of outflow.  

The  medium irrigation projects in the state have 46tmc-ft as against the normal requirement of 115tmc-ft. The Gollapalli reservoir, part of the HNSS project, has 1.91tmc-ft, at 78 per cent capacity. Similarly, the  Cherlopall reservoir has 1.25tmc-ft with 77.49 per cent of water capacity.

Further, hundreds of irrigation projects are having full water during the peak summer season after water was filled from various projects through lift irrigation.