Hyderabad: Heavy rains in the catchment areas of the Krishna River Basin and its tributaries, have filled a number of reservoirs recently and release of water into Nagarjunasagar project from the Srisailam reservoir appears imminent. With fresh inflows from reservoirs in Karnataka, the water level in the Srisailam reservoir has shot up to 880 feet on Wednesday, falling just five feet of the full reservoir level of 885 feet. However, the situation is not so rosy in the Godavari River Basin as the water levels have dipped to new lows.
Following a complaint from the Telangana government, the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) had already warned the Andhra Pradesh government against drawing water to Pothireddypadu head regulator without prior permission. With heavy inflows continuing at an average rate of about 92,900 cusecs on Wednesday, the AP government is left with no option but to release surplus water from Srisailam reservoir to Nagarjunasagar project.
Fresh inflows into Jurala
Reservoirs like Almatti and Narayanpur in Karnataka are full to their capacity and Jurala in Telangana continued to receive fresh inflows at an average rate of 65,300 cusecs as on Wednesday. With water storage at 9.3 tmcft against the gross storage capacity of 9.65 tmcft, Jurala is discharging water at an average rate of 63,800 cusecs to Srisailam project. With heavy rains in catchment areas, Srisailam is receiving inflows at an average rate of 92,900 cusecs and releasing around 24,900 cusecs down the stream. However, inflow of only 8,000 cusecs was recorded at Nagarjunasagar project and the same amount of water is being released for irrigation and drinking purposes.
Telangana officials have complained that the AP government was pumping out water from Srisailam project into Pothireddypadu head regulator and further drawing excess water from the latter without prior permission from the KRMB. Though the KRMB warned the AP government against resorting to such acts on Tuesday, sources said that the latter continued to release water from Pothireddypadu head regulator on Wednesday to serve the needs of Rayalaseema region. As against its allocated quota of 5 tmc from Pothireddypadu, AP drew 12 tmc water till Tuesday, forcing KRMB to issue orders against it.
No option for AP
“The AP government has no option but to stop drawing more water than allocated from Pothireddypadu head regulator. We expect more inflows into Nagarjunasagar Project from this weekend. Currently, Srisailam reservoir has about 188 tmcft water against its gross capacity of 215.8 tmcft,” said an irrigation official from TS. Water level in Srisailam project increased from 163.5 tmcft on October 1 to 191 tmcft on Wednesday morning within four days, while water level in Nagarjunasagar project decreased from 146 tmcft on October 1 to 144.9 tmcft on Wednesday, following release of water for drinking purpose of Hyderabad and Nalgonda during the corresponding period.
Meanwhile, water levels dipped to new lows in projects under Godavari River Basin system in Telangana. Lower Manair Dam, Nizamsagar Project and Sri Ram Sagar Project have water storage levels at a mere 7.17 tmcft, 2.82 tmcft and 36.9 tmcft, respectively. The full reservoir level (FRL) of these projects is 24 tmcft, 17.8 tmcft and 90.3 tmcft, respectively. Due to no major rains in Godavari River catchment area except Hyderabad and its surroundings in the recent days, inflows into these projects were also not major.
Thanks to heavy downpour in the State over the last two days, Singur project and Sripada Yellampally project recorded good inflows and are brimming to their FRL. While Singur project recorded storage level of 29.05 tmcft, agaisnt FRL of 29.91 tmcft, Sripada Yellampally project registered 19.54 tmcft, against FRL of 20.17 tmcft. Both these projects are releasing water at an average rate of 4,827 cusecs and 2,086 cusecs.