Good-News for water-starved farmers of the Krishna Basin in Telangana and AP


Hyderabad: In a positive sign for water-starved farmers under major irrigation projects of the Krishna Basin in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, heavy rains in the catchment of Upper Krishna is bringing in big inflows to Almatti dam.

The Almatti dam started receiving inflows that are in the range of about 1,00,000 cusecs on Tuesday. The catchment of the upper Krishna irrigation projects in Karnataka have been receiving heavy rains for the last four days. Almatti, at this rate of inflows, would be adding to its storage by about nine TMC a day. Its present storage has only seven TMC. It had a flood cushion of about 105 TMC to be filled to the brim for letting water to the downstream projects.

The Tungabhadra project also started receiving inflows of about 31,000 cusecs adding to its storage by 2.5 TMC a day. Tungabhadra, where in the present storage is about 20 TMC, has a flood cushion of 86 TMC to be filled in further. Once Tungabhadra receives significant inflows, the Srisailam project will become the immediate beneficiary. Srisailam, as against its gross storage capacity of 215 TMC, has only 36 TMC as part of its present storage. Its cumulative inflows received so far in the present water year are less than seven TMC.

Water level in Nagarjuna Sagar dipped to 503 feet as against the minimum draw down level of 510 ft. The project has been left with very little water to support the drinking water supply in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad along with the towns of Nalgonda, Khammam and Suryapet in its command area. Officials are optimistic that Nagarjuna Sagar will receive first inflows of the year by the end of July and that the irrigation schedule for its ayacut can be finalised in August.

This rise in the inflows to Almatti is expected to alleviate some of the water scarcity issues faced under multiple projects downstream and communities dependent on the Krishna River.

Medigadda barrage also gets big inflows

As for the Godavari basin projects, only the Medigadda barrage has been receiving over 30,000 cusecs and a significant part of it was the sole contribution of Pranahita, a major tributary of Godavari. The scope for lifting water from the Kannepalli pump house was being examined without putting up a weir at the barrage. Officials said the pumping units could be operated during the flood time provided the inflows are more than 30,000 to 35,000 cusecs. All the gates of the barrage were kept open as advised by the NDSA.

In anticipation of inflows into the Sripada Yellampalli reservoir, the emergency pumping operations aimed at supporting water supply to the twin cities, were stopped. The project had less than four TMCs as part of its present storage. The Kaddam project has also been receiving an average inflow of about 3000 cusecs.

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