Irrigation officials have claimed that the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project on the Godavari will play a vital role in meeting the drinking water needs of the state. It will substitute the Krishna as the major source of water for the capital in the coming years.

They said once the reservoir at Shamirpet is completed in another year, water from the Kaleshwaram project will reach the city. While components of the Kaleshwaram project are receiving water and pumping it to upland areas, it will not reach the city because the linking of canals is not yet complete.

Engineer-in-chief C. Muralidhar said, “Kaleshwaram will meet the drinking water requirement soon. Due to the delayed rains, the groundwater capacity is affected but the city will not have a crisis as water is being pumped from various sources.”

The department has drawn water from the dead storage level in Nagarjunasagar to meet the requirement of the city as the monsoon has been delayed and there is a rainfall deficit.

Another official on condition of anonymity explained, “The linking of the canals is very important for the success of the Kaleshwaram project. This means, while the first phase has been completed and water is filling up, it is now important to supply that water to the dry habitats and to meet the requirement of the city. The government has to increase the pace of work as we are already seeing a dry spell.”

While Godavari is expected to become the mainstay of water supply, Nagarjunasagar will continue to supply water to the city but proper water management techniques are required to ensure optimum utilisation in the growing city.

Hydel power generation is a challenge as the water levels are very low in the two major reservoirs, Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam, and the state is completely dependent on thermal power energy, an official said. This is being supplemented by solar power were possible.

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