Parched city cries for funds
It might be the spring season, but the mood in the city is definitely morose in view of the low storage levels of water at reservoirs and the current groundwater levels. There has been zero inflow of water to the city’s main reservoirs in the past few days. As on Thursday, the water level at Osman Sagar was at 1,764 feet while at Himayat Sagar it was at 1,750 feet.
It might be the spring season, but the mood in the city is definitely morose in view of the low storage levels of water at reservoirs and the current groundwater levels. There has been zero inflow of water to the city’s main reservoirs in the past few days. As on Thursday, the water level at Osman Sagar was at 1,764 feet while at Himayat Sagar it was at 1,750 feet. Both the lakes, which supply 40 MGD (million gallons per day) of water to Hyderabad, are now at the mercy of rains.
According to the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB), there is only water reserve for 70 days and 278 days respectively from the two lakes. “To overcome the crisis, the HMWS&SB has sought Rs 13.50 crore of funds from the State Government for emergency pumping from Singur Dam and for the servicing of pumps as water from the dam is expected to last up to June 31. The board has also sought another Rs 3 crore for emergency pumping from Osman Sagar and water is expected to drawn up to May 31,” said a Water Board official.
Low groundwater levels
It’s not just the reservoirs, the low groundwater levels in the city too has come as double whammy for the citizens. The recently released annual report by the Telangana Ground Water Department (TGWD) indicates that the water levels in Hyderabad have plummeted by 2.52 metres during the year gone by.
The average levels in 2014 were at 9.46 metres Below Ground Level (BGL) while in 2013 they were at 6.94 metres. “Barring Asifnagar, Serilingampally and Bhadurpura mandals, water levels dropped throughout the city,” points out G Sambaiah, director, TGWD. All the mandals in Ranga Reddy have recorded a fall in the water levels and the average levels in 2014 were 12.74 metres as against 8.62 metres the year period, which translates into a 4.12 metres fall.
The low groundwater levels have been attributed to the failure of monsoon in 2014. “Telangana continuously received deficit rainfall (less than -21 per cent) during the southwest monsoon season. Not even a single system moved over Telangana during the northeast monsoon season, resulting in a huge deficit rainfall of (-) 52 per cent during the season. It received 37 per cent deficit rainfall by the end of December 2014,” Rama Rao, retired director, India Meteorological Department, said.
While Bhahadurpura registered a marginal rise in water levels by 0.60 metres, the levels in Nampally dipped by 8.77 metres. In Ranga Reddy district, water levels in Tandur mandal rose by 0.55 metres while that of Bantawaram dropped by 18.87 metres. With still about two months to go for the summer season to arrive, the scanty water scenario in the city is ominous.