Six districts in Andhra reel under drinking water crisis

Among the 13 districts in the State, groundwater level is the lowest in Chittoor at 28.17 metres below ground level (MBGL).

Published: 13th May 2019 08:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th May 2019 08:15 AM   |  A+A-

A view of dried up NTR Jalasayam in Chittoor district | madhav k

Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: It is not just Kurnool which is facing drinking water crisis, the same situation prevails in five other districts, including Chittoor, Anantapur, Kadapa, Nellore and Prakasam. The drinking water crisis is more severe in rural pockets of the six districts.

Among the 13 districts in the State, groundwater level is the lowest in Chittoor at 28.17 metres below ground level (MBGL). Compared to last summer, the water level is 10.21 metres deeper now.

According to the data provided by Real-Time Groundwater Monitoring System,  Kanduru village in Somala mandal of Chittoor district has the most depleted groundwater level at 112.84 MBGL. The water level which stood at 33 MBGL last year, depleted by 79.84 MBGL in one year.

Chittoor, which is bereft of any major river or stream, is mostly dependent on the groundwater, which is drawn through borewells. The water is used for both irrigation and drinking purposes.

Kandaleru reservoir in Nellore from which Tirupati gets water, has 5.02 TMC now against FRL of 68 TMC. Hence, the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati has taken several contingency measures. It is supplying water on alternate days to some places. People living on the outskirts of Tirupati, are getting water twice or thrice a week. As a result, they are dependent on  private tankers for their drinking needs.

Serpentine queues at water tankers are a common sight in summer.  The situation is no different this summer.  Madanapalle, Thamballapalle, Piler, Sadum, Mulakalacheruvu and other western mandals of Chittoor are facing acute drinking water crisis. “There are no rains. We are finding it extremely tough to quench our thirst.  We are most worried about our goats and sheep, which are falling like dried up leaves from a tree for want of drinking water,” said Sivanagappa, a goat herder in Mulakalacheruvu.

Same situation prevails in rural areas of neighbouring Kadapa. Drinking water has become a precious commodity. Penna and Kundu rivers which pass through the district, have dried up and the supply of water from Telugu Ganga project is limited. However, district headquarters Kadapa is not facing drinking water scarcity. On the request of District Collector Ch Harikiran, one TMC of water is being released from Alganuru balancing reservoir in Kurnool to  Kadapa town through Penna river.  The water is expected to last till June.

According to officials, 687 villages in  36 mandals of the district are facing drinking water crisis. The number of villages facing water crisis is likely  to touch 1,000 if the same situation continues in coming days. Despite the best efforts of the Rural Water Supply Department, there is no let up in drinking water crisis.

Nellore, which received deficit rainfall, is witnessing fast depleting water levels in major reservoirs -- Somasila and Kandaleru. Compared to 12.84 TMC in last summer in Somasila reservoir, the water level is 3.53 TMC now against the FRL of 78 TMC. Kandaleru has 5.85 TMC of water compared to 6.02 TMC last year. As many as 3,000 tanks in the district have dried up. The upland areas are facing acute drinking water crisis.

Prakasam, which recorded the highest deficit rainfall of 54.6 per cent in the State, is also reeling under water crisis.  Several tanks in western mandals of the district, particularly in Markapuram belt, have dried up. In Ongole and Markapuram, water is being supplied through tankers. The RWS had filled some tanks in the district with water from the Nagarjuna Sagar Right Canal for drinking purpose.

“In Guntur and Prakasam districts, our quota of Nagarjuna Sagar water for drinking purpose was received. On April 15, we received 7 TMC of water and it will last till the end of June,” said Ch P Gangaraju, NSP Right Canal Superintending Engineer.

With depleting water level at Prakasam Barrage, 1.5 TMC of water was released from Pulichintala project. “Hence, there will not be any drinking water problem in Vijayawada and Guntur,” said KVLNP Chowdary, SE, Irrigation Department.  The water level, which was at 8.1 feet at Prakasam Barrage at 3 pm on Saturday, is expected to touch 11 feet against FRL of 12 feet by either Monday or Tuesday with the release of Pulichintala water.

Alarming situation

Groundwater level is lowest in Chittoor district at 28.17 MBGL
687 villages in Kadapa district are facing water crisis
3,000 tanks in Nellore have dried up, reservoir levels dwindled
Western mandals of Prakasam are reeling under acute water scarcity
No drinking water problem in Vijayawada and Guntur cities



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