Water crisis hits twin cities

Published: 11th March 2013 10:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2013 10:41 AM   |  A+A-

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The summer has announced its arrival and it’s time for Hyderabadis to brace up for severe water crisis. The problem of insufficient drinking water supply has already hit a few areas in the city.

For the next few months, the core areas of the twin cities would receive water only on alternate days and the amount of supply would be cut by 50 per cent or the water may be available once in three days.

The erstwhile surrounding municipalities, now merged with the GHMC, are supplied water twice a week.

With the alarming depletion of water levels in Singur, Manjeera, Krishna, Osmansagar and Himayatsagar reservoirs, the main drinking water sources to Greater Hyderabad limits and surrounding villages, the supply of drinking water is now a major cause of concern.

For the last few years, against the demand of 470 million gallons of water per day (MGD), the Water Board is barely managing to supply 344 MGD. With fast depleting level of water, the water board would be soon reduce the supply further by at least 50 to 60 MGD during peak summer.

With the dwindling of water levels in these five reservoirs, the Water Board has no other alternatives but to stave off the problem by supplying water evenly.

The APTRANSCO is going to play spoilsport this summer owing to power cuts. The Water Board is drawing water from these reservoirs mainly through pumping and any trouble in the supply of power to the pumping stations would lead to havoc in water supplies.

Already some 15 MGD water has been reduced in the last few days. More reductions will be followed in the days to come.

Over 50,000 bore wells belonging to both HMWS&SB and private owners are fast drying up because of the dwindling ground water levels and there would be more pressure on the board for additional supply.

The Osmansagar and Himayatsagar reservoirs which have been meeting drinking water needs of the citizens for nearly 100 years are now on the verge of drying up. The Water Board has installed pumping equipment at these two reservoirs to empty the remaining available water. Compared to the previous year, levels in these reservoirs have plummeted steeply.

As there is going to be deficit of 45 to 50 MGD to different parts of the city, the Water Board would be left with no option but to divert the Krishna water to the areas fed by Osmansagar and Himayatsagar.

Presently, the level in this reservoir is less than 510 feet as against the full reservoir level (FRL) of 590 ft.

The Water Board officials told Express that the High Court in July, 2012 directed the state government not to release water to Krishna Delta if the ‘’dead storage level’’ of Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir falls below 510 ft.

However, the officials said the irrigation department officials had assured to maintain 510 ft level; if any problem arises the Board has to lift the water by installing emergency pumps, which is going to be a costly affair.

Ministers from Hyderabad M Mukesh Goud and D Nagender met chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy recently to explain him about the drinking water situation in Hyderabad and the need to maintain 510 ft level to safeguard the drinking needs.

They explained that further release of water from Nagarjuna Sagar to Srisailam Right bank canal for irrigation purposes would result in serious drinking water crisis in Hyderabad, which draws nearly 180 MGD of water from this reservoir.  The officials said that demand would be more this summer as majority of private bore wells have gone dry.

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