Hyderabad: In a major relief to the city, the irrigation department has assured the Metropolitan Water Board that it will maintain the Minimum Draw Down Level (MDDL) of 510 feet at the Nagarjunasagar dam in the Krishna river basin until the end of summer. This will allow the Water Board to pump water from the dam in case there is a dire need.
The Water Board is currently supplying 387 million gallons a day (MGD) from the Krishna Drinking Water Supply Project Phases I, II, and III, and from the Godavari Phase I. Of them, a total of 226 MGD was supplied from projects on the Krishna river. The assurance of the irrigation department will quench the thirst and domestic needs of about 80,000 residents in the city.
A senior water board official said that the irrigation department has assured the board that it will maintain the MDDL until monsoon. He said that the assurance was received after writing to the state government about inviting tenders for emergency pumping from the Nagarjunasagar dam considering the depletion of water levels at an alarming pace.
He said that the water levels in Nagarjunasagar were depleting at the rate of 0.7 feet per day since a week and that the current water level at Nagarjuna Sagar dam was 520.6 feet against the full tank capacity of 590 feet. The official also mentioned that the government would not release water for irrigation and serve drinking water needs of the city first. He said that the government has also requested neighbouring states to release water into Nagarjunasagar from Srisailam reservoir.
However, sources claim that the board will certainly prepare to draw water through heavy water pumping machines installed at pumping stations.
However, the water board has to follow a due process like inviting tenders and finalizing them which can take over three weeks. Sources say that the board needs to be ready with the emergency pumping despite the government's assurance to supply water. The HMWS&SB will be spending Rs. 6 crores for pumping water and Rs 1 crore towards electricity charges....