Hyderabad: Inflows into the Krishna river-based projects in TS and AP are less than the average for July. What little water has flown into the projects, however, has eased the drinking water problem in the two states. The good news is that the water level is expected to increase in August and September.
The Almatti and Narayanapur dams in Karnataka and the Jurala project in Telangana are full, and water is being diverted to canals before being released downstream.
Inflows into the Tungabhadra dam in Karnataka, however, continue to be discouraging. The dam is receiving about 7,000 cusecs, which is being diverted to the canals. The 100-tmc ft dam has 40 tmc ft of water. Usually, the Tungabhadra is in spate in July, and the surplus water reaches Srisailam, which has not happened this year.
Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar can together hold 550 tmc ft but currently have 150 tmc ft which is below the dead storage level. Srisailam has received almost 40 tmc ft, mainly from the Krishna river.
Following requests from the two states to meet drinking water needs, 10 tmc ft of water is being released from Srisailam to Nagarjunasagar. This has caused not a little heartburn among Rayalaseema farmers who depend on the KC Canal, Telugu Ganga, Srisailam Right Branch Canal and Handri-Neeva projects, as their wait for water has become longer.
Unless the level at Srisailam dam reaches 854 ft against the full reservoir level of 885 ft. water cannot be diverted to Rayalaseema through the Pothireddypadu head regulator and lift schemes.
This apart, farmers in the 25 lakh acres that the Nagarjunasagar irrigates in two Telangana state and three AP districts, are still waiting for water.
“Any supply to raise crops is possible only after we receive sufficient inflows and storage improves at the two dams. Given the current water levels and inflows, we will have to wait further,” Telangana state engineer-in-chief C. Muralidhar told this newspaper. “If not for the Khariff, we may think about (releasing water for) late Kharif or early Rabi.”
The Prakasam barrage is receiving Godavari waters through the Pattiseema lift scheme but will have to depend on releases from Nagarjunasagar after transplantation of paddy is completed in another 15 days.
“Pattiseema will divert a maximum of 8,000 cusecs but requirement for crops will increase after August 15, which needs to be supplemented from Nagarj-unasagar,” a senior engineering official from AP said.
Nagarjunasagar, the principal supplier to AP and Telangana including drin-king water to Hyderabad, had water at 504 ft on Sunday, which is six feet below the minimum draw down level of 510 ft....