Projects under Krishna basin run dry
Projects under Krishna basin run dry

Hyderabad: Farmers under Krishna basin in the two Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are facing hardship as the river has more or less dried up while Godavari is brimming with copious inflows. Water level has hit rock bottom in all the projects constructed across river Krishna with zero inflows even though South West monsoon has set over South India a month ago.    

Though the Almatti dam on Krishna is receiving good inflows in Karnataka, water levels in Jurala, Srisaialam and Nagarjuna Sagar dams are still below MDDL (Minimum Draw Down Level). Officials said that the Almatti dam was receiving 69,000 cusecs of water but the release of water to Jurala is zero. From Jurala, water will proceed to Srisailam and then to Nagarjuna Sagar dam.

In Jurala, of 9.66 TMC ft capacity, only 5.70 TMC ft of water is only available. The inflows are nil and outflows are 521 cusecs in the last one week. Water levels at Srisailam have reached below Minimum Draw Down Level (MDDL) of 815 feet in the reservoir. The FRL (Full Reservoir Level) of the project is 885 feet with a total capacity of 215 TMC ft.  At present, only 30 TMC ft of water is available in the project.      

Similarly, water storage in Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir also reduced to below the MDDL of 500 feet as against 590 feet FRL.  The available water in the project is only 133 TMC ft out of 312 TMC ft gross capacity. Officials said that the available water is not useful either for farming purpose in the ongoing khariff season and also for other purposes like drinking water needs and filling the ponds along the left bank canals in Telangana. It was normal practice to fill the ponds with Krishna water in the first week of July every year to meet agricultural needs. This time, no such arrangements are made as there is no availability of water in the projects.  

Apart from the deficit rainfall in the catchment areas of the Krishna basin south Telangana districts, officials said that the Karnataka was exploiting the available inflows at Alamatti dam by diverting the flood water through mini dams constructed between Almatti, Narayanpur and and Jurala stretch. Before releasing water to Jurala via Narayanpur, Karnataka is filling the mini reservoirs constructed on Krishna     

The neighbouring state was also not releasing flood waters from Tungabhadra to Srisailam. The dam with a capacity of 100 TMC ft already received 70 TMC ft of water, Due to excess withdrawal, the volume of water was only 50 TMC ft.  The two states are already facing alarming situation with poor inflows into Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar. If the same trend continues, the possibility of receiving good inflow into the two projects will be remote in next two months also.

While this is so, as the flood water level has risen in Godavari, the authorities are allowing a discharge of more than 3.5 lakh cusecs at Dowleswaram in East Godavari district in AP by lifting all the 175 gates to a height of one metre. The water level at the barrage at present is 9.75 feet and the water level might rise by Thursday night.

East Godavari Collector Karthikeya Misra directed the officials to monitor the flood water levels once an hour. The people downstream of the barrage have been alerted to be in a state of readiness to shift to safer places as inflows might further pick up.


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