Despite measures being initiated to address challenges faced in meeting drinking water needs in the State, the supply system is likely to enter a critical phase by May 5. The water storage in almost all the reservoirs has dipped below the lowest off-take levels. Booster pumps are expected to be put in place for drawing water from the otherwise inaccessible levels thus presenting a grim picture.

After commissioning the emergency pumping system at Nagarjuna Sagar Project, where the water level dipped to 506.4 feet as on Tuesday, the focus is the Sripada Yellampalli Project to meet the drinking water needs of Hyderabad and the cities en route. Booster pumps are being installed at the project on a warfooting to draw water from dead storage if necessary. Emergency pumping facilities would be in place by May 5 and the drawls would commence by May 15, according to officials.

As against its gross storage capacity of 20.18 tmc, the Yellampalli reservoir has only 6.66 tmc of water as on Tuesday as against 10.5 tmc on the same day last year.By May 15, the project would be left with little over 3.5 tmc as its live storage. But this would not be enough to bail out the pockets that have solely been depending on it for drinking water supply.

‘We wish the rain god will help open up the skies before the project goes dry,’ an Irrigation official said.

The live storage in Nagarjuna Sagar

got depleted by about 3.5 tmc in less than one week. The Krishna river Management Board had given the green signal to the State to draw by 8.5 tmc from the project extracting water even up to the critical threshhold level of 500 ft as against the Minimum draw down level of 510 ft. ‘If needed we can adopt the same method to take water from the dead storage of the Srisailam project also to meet the drinking water needs in case of acute scarcity,” Irrigation department sources said.

As for the water supply to Nirmal, Boath, Armoor and adjoining towns, water would be made available for Mission Bhagiratha programme from the Sriramsagar Project (SRSP). The project has 10.69 tmc as against 20 tmc on the same day last year. Other sources such as Singur which has 16.3 tmc are expected to come to the rescue of the State in case of acute scarcity conditions.

Nizam Sagar and the Lower Manair dam have 10.69 tmc and 6.66 tmc respectively. The water supply to Karimnagar could be supported to a major extent even with drawls from the dead storage of the LMD.

The twin reservoirs of Osman Sagar and Himayatsagar would now serve as important sources to support the drinking water needs of people of Hyderabad and peripheral areas. About 22 million gallons of water were being drawn from the twin reservoirs and the possibility of scaling up the drawls would be explored from the second week of May, according to officials.
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