Tirupati: The irrigation authorities on Monday initiated the release of water to two lakh acres in the Pennar delta region in Nellore district, as per the decision made at the Irrigation Advisory Board meeting on November 14.
The IAB, taking note of the water shortage in various projects, particularly in Somasila, Sarvepalli, and Kanigiri under Pennar delta, restricted the water supply to 2.25 lakh acres for the Rabi season. The total extent of landwas 4.50 lakh acres.
This decision was in response to the 51 per cent deficit rainfall the region experienced this season.
Irrigation officials led by the Somasila project executive engineer Dasaratharami Reddy and Nellore central division executive engineer Nagarajulu, opened the crest gate to release the water to the delta.
Executive engineer Dasaratharami Reddy said the 12th crest gate of the Somasila project was opened, releasing 1,800 cusecs daily for the next 11 days.
Additionally, from Dec 1, an additional 100 cusecs of water would be released as per the IAB decision.
As of now, there is 29.255 tmc-ft of water in the Somasila reservoir and 14 tmc-ft in the Kandaleru reservoir. Due to the low storage levels in both reservoirs, IAB decided to exclude non-delta areas from water release for the first crop.
Expressing concern over the meagre water release this year, the irrigation department has appealed to farmers to adopt an 'On and Off' system for drawing water from canals to ensure fair distribution among those cultivating crops at the tail-end areas.
"Farmers are urged to understand the situation and utilize water judiciously in a water-saving mode with simplified management procedures. The department aims to cultivate around 10,000 acres with 1-tmc-ft of water for the first crop that is expected to reach the harvesting stage by mid-Jan next year," superintendent engineer P Mohan said.
Typically, farmers in Nellore district cultivate paddy and other commercial crops based on cyclones occurring between September and November, known as cyclone months. However, IAB has decided to supply water for 2.25 lakh acres under the Pennar delta area, emphasizing the challenges posed by this season's deficit rainfall.