Worse Days Ahead as Water Crisis Deepens

Water Board is contemplating to reduce the duration of water supply by half or resort to regulations like once in three days

Published: 26th August 2015 05:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th August 2015 05:19 AM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: With drinking water crisis looming large over Greater Hyderabad due to dwindling water levels in the five water reservoirs that supply drinking water to city, tough times are ahead for Hyderabadis as the drinking water crisis is all set to deepen due to deficit monsoon.

As against the combined water storage capacity of 39.783 TMC in the five reservoirs of Osmansagar (Gandipet), Himayatsagar, Singur, Manjira and Krishna, the present water storage is just about 4.546 TMC. It was 14.568 TMC during the same period in 2014 while it was around 30 TMC in August 2013.

The depleting water level in Osmansagar (Gandipet), Himayatsagar, Singur and Manjira, which meets nearly 50 percent of the drinking needs of Greater Hyderabad and suburban areas, is causing concern. Water levels at both Nagarjuna Sagar and Srisailam reservoir have plunged to new lows setting alarm bells ringing. Officials have sounded an alert that worst days are ahead as the guaranteed water supply will be affected.

Nagarjunasagar reservoir, one of the primary sources of drinking water, recorded a storage of 509 feet, which is below the minimum draw down level (MDDL) of 510 feet. Last year on the same day, the reservoir had over 537 feet of water. If the water level falls below 507 feet, the city will not be able to draw water since it the reservoir will hit dead storage.

The five reservoirs together supply 385 million gallons of water per day (MGD) to the city and suburban areas. Krishna Phase I, II and III supply 225 MGD while the water needs for the remaining areas are met by Singur and Manjira reservoirs.

Hyderabad needs 625 MGD to quench its thirst, but the Water Board is able to supply only 385 MGD.

If the monsoon clouds fail to arrive, the situation would turn from bad to worse. Considering the precarious situation, Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) is contemplating to reduce the duration of water supply by half or resort to regulations like once in three days and twice a week supply in the twin cities.

The water levels at Osmansagar and Himayatsagar have reached alarming levels and water supply from these two reservoirs has grown negligible.

The present water storage in Osmansagar is about 0.047 TMC as against its capacity of 3.900 TMC, while Himayatsagar has only 0.423 TMC of water left as against 2.967 TMC capacity.

Same is the case with Singur reservoir. Presently, Singur has only 2.494 TMC of water as against its storage capacity of 29.917 TMC. From Singur about 120 MGD of water is being supplied through emergency pumping to draw water from dead storage level.

The borewells which used to supplement water requirements by 10-15 percent have also gone dry due to lack of rains. This will double the burden of water managers.

There has been complaints from several localities in the city that they are getting muddy water due to pumping of water from dead storage level.

HMWS&SB officials have informed the state government that reliability of the existing water resources is diminishing at an alarming pace. The Osmansagar and Himayatsagar have dried up while Singur, Manjira and Krishna (Nagarjunasagar) have dwindling resources raising concern over their dependability.

The rapid urbanisation of Hyderabad city and merger of surrounding municipalities into Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have contributed to the deepening crisis. IT Sectors, ORR Growth corridors, industrial clusters etc have led to a surge in demand in addition to the normal domestic demand, officials added.

The Godavari Drinking Water Supply Project Phase-I formulated to draw 172 MGD (10 TMC) of water from Yellampally Barrage, which is being built at a cost of Rs 3,375 crore is progressing at a snail’s pace.

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