Andhra Pradesh: Dwindling water levels in reservoirs upset farmers

Above normal rainfall likely to ensure no water shortage for Kharif
If season-wise statistics are analysed, the Southwest Monsoon received 15.2 per cent less rain than normal, and the Northeast Monsoon received 10.57 per cent less rainfall.
If season-wise statistics are analysed, the Southwest Monsoon received 15.2 per cent less rain than normal, and the Northeast Monsoon received 10.57 per cent less rainfall.

VIJAYAWADA: The water year 2023-24 progressed with inconsistent rains leaving farmers distressed. Farmers are now hoping for widespread consistent rains in different spells in the current water year, which commenced on June 1.

Meanwhile, water levels in various reservoirs of Andhra Pradesh as of June 3, are nearly half compared to last year. Farmers are worried that if there are no significant inflows to the reservoirs, they might be facing a tough time, though the forecast is for above-normal rains. If season-wise statistics are analysed, the Southwest Monsoon received 15.2 per cent less rain than normal, and the Northeast Monsoon received 10.57 per cent less rainfall. The winter period between January 1 and February 29 received a staggering 91.3 per cent deficit rainfall.

Statistics from the Water Resources Department show that in the water year 2023-24, the total rainfall received was 4,608.36 mm and the inflows into reservoirs were a meagre 0.29 TMC.

Officials say the figures speak for themselves to explain the situation in the State. In the last five water years, for the first time, the government announced drought mandals. In November 2023, a total of 103 mandals were declared drought-hit and another 87 mandals were declared drought-affected in March 2024.

As of June 3, the total water level has stood at 225.55 TMC, which is 45.98 per cent less than 417.56 TMC last year on the same day. The quantum of water in the reservoirs is 22.93 per cent of the total gross capacity of 983.49 TMC. The gross capacity of major reservoirs in the State is 865.64 TMC. On June 3, the water level stood at 195.17 TMC, while it was 369.87 TMC last year on the same day.

Similarly, water available in the medium reservoirs in the State on June 3, was put at 30.34 per cent, which is 26.37 per cent of the gross capacity of 115.09 TMC. Last year, the water level in the medium reservoirs stood at 39.79 TMC. The gross capacity of other reservoirs (minor) is 1.62 TMC. A total of 0.04 TMC is available now, which is 2.16 per cent of the gross capacity. The water level in the projects stood at 0.1 TMC last year.

Though the water levels in reservoirs are of concern, officials are confident that with the prediction of good rains, the water levels of reservoirs will increase once again, benefiting the farmers at large.

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