Hyderabad is no stranger to water shortages but the news this year, as we head into the cruellest months, is grimmer than ever before.
If you thought there’s always the Krishna and the Godavari to fall back upon, here’s bad news: Water levels in both Akkampally (Nagarjunasagar) and Yellampally (Godavari), the city’s main sources of water, are a fraction of capacity.
In Yellampally, as against the storage capacity of 20.175 tmc ft of water storage, there just 4.9 tmc ft available now. And the situation is no better in Akkampally: As against the full reservoir level of 590 ft, the present level is 510 ft. In terms of storage, there’s just 131 tmc ft as against the capacity of 312.045 tmc ft.
Water supplies from the city’s other sources, Singur, Manjira and Osmansagar, cased several days ago, with the reservoir having gone dry. Little Himayatsagar still hosts a trickle, but is expected to go dry next month.
While dwarfed by Akkampally and Yellampally, supplies from Osmansagar (25 million gallons per day, MGD), Singur and Manjira (both 120 MGD) used to be handy in the months prior to peak summer, meeting nearly 50 per cent of the drinking needs of Hyderabad.
The Greater Hyderabad area needs 550-600 MGD. The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) is currently managing to supply 355 MGD to the city: 264 MGD from Krishna Phase-I, II and III and 86 MGD from the Godavari. Himayatsagar is yielding about 5 MGD.
The Water Board Board (HMWS&SB) has started installing emergency pumps at Puttamgandi village near the Akkampally reservoir in Nalgonda in view of the approaching dog days.
But with nearly one lakh borewells belonging to the Water Board and private owners going dry, the water shortage is likely to be more acute this summer. These borewells used to meet about 15-20 per cent of the city’s needs.
The board has earmarked `5.82 crore for supply of water through tankers to unserved or poorly served areas. It plans to set up additional tanker filling points and repair borewells, pumps and motors and another ` 13.50 crore has been set apart for emergency pumping from Singur.