Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) said that the water levels in the reservoirs of the Krishna river basin have dropped below the minimum drawdown level (MMDL) — holding at 507 feet against the MDDL of 510 feet in Nagarjunasagar and at 805 feet against the MDDL of 834 feet in Srisailam.
A major concern for officials is that the state can utilise only around 10 tmc ft of the available water to serve its drinking water needs. Consequently, the city has been using a large share of the water available in the Krishna river basin. Additionally, water in the Godavari river basin — in the Sriram Sagar Project (SRSP), Nizamsagar project, Singur, and Yellampally — has been depleting at an alarming pace.
In the wake of the the situation, Water Board officials claimed that they will only be able to supply water through emergency pumping, and even that looks feasible not past the end of July. They said if the upstream catchment areas did not receive ample rainfall, the city could head towards an acute water crisis.
According to sources, the Water Board board, during the last week of May, initiated measures to install about 10 emergency pumps on a war footing basis to draw water from the dead storage level of Nagarjunasagar. Ten emergency pumps, five 600 HP motors will draw 120 cusecs each, and another five of 300 HP will draw 60 cusecs each from Puttamgandi.
In order to facilitate continued drinking water supply to the city, the Water Board initiated emergency pumping on Friday. The board has been supplying 270 million gallons per day (mgd) out of the 450 MGD supplied to the city at normal times.
Another grave area of concern is that at this point, the water level in the Yellampally reservoir is holding at barely two feet above the MDDL — 141 feet, against its MDDL of 139 feet. Emergency pumping can be carried out only until the end of July post which the reservoir’s water levels will drop further. It can therefore be concluded that only sufficient rainfall in upstream catchment areas can save the city from the otherwise impending water crisis.
A senior HMWSSB official said that with the IMD predicting a 97 percent Long Period Average (LPA), upstream states Maharashtra and Karnataka are anticipated to receive normal rainfall. If they receive less rainfall, however, then the board will have to go deeper into the reservoirs to draw water, he explained, adding that should be able to serve the purpose for another three months. He said that the board was comfortable with drawing water from the Godavari basin....