Water level in Nagarjunasagar hits rock bottom

Water may not be diverted for irrigation

With no fresh inflows from upstream Srisailam reservoir, optimum utilisation of the resource and prevailing hot temperatures, water level at the Nagarjunasagar Project (NSP) is almost at its minimum draw down level (MDDL) of 510 feet.

Official sources said the NSP’s latest figure is 510.6 feet as against its full reservoir level (FRL) of 590 feet or 312.045 tmc. And water level in the Srisailam dam is 807.6 feet as against its full reservoir level of 885 feet. “It is alarming, but water can be drawn further down as done in the past,” say officials.

The water level around this time last year was around 513 feet. The difference is 1.9 feet faster depletion now. While it is clear that water cannot be diverted for irrigation, even as the Kharif season is just a month away, the project can only provide for Nalgonda and Hyderabad’s drinking needs, till fresh inflows in July/August. The project currently serves about 400 cusecs drinking water daily to Hyderabad through the AMR-SLBC project.

Moreover, officials are carrying out works for emergency pumping with 10 motors and a sub-station at ₹2.8 crore, at Puttamgandi.

Preventive measures are already in place, in case the monsoons delay and interrupt drinking water supply. So, a 2017 like situation would not arise.

To recall, in August 2017, when parts of Telangana were reeling under severe drinking water shortage, the then Irrigation Minister, Mr T. Harish Rao, had written to the government of Karnataka seeking supply of 15 tmc water from Almatti-Narayanpur reservoir.

The reservoirs upstream had been filling then, but the Nagarjunasagar Project water level stood only at 500.5 feet.

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