In spite of heavy rainfall, water levels in main reservoirs are not encouraging

Looks like thirsty days are ahead for Hyderabadis.

The puddles of relief have not translated into real gain. Scanty rainfall has raised the spectre of a severe summer. Though authorities at Water Board sound optimistic but they are silently preparing for tougher measures.

Water levels in city’s principal reservoirs — Osmansagar and Himayatsagar — are not encouraging. The position of Singur is equally bad though of late it has received some inflows. Compared to the previous year, levels in these reservoirs have plummeted steeply. For instance the level in Osmangsagar on Monday stood at 1772.450 feet as against 1781.650 the same day last year. In Himayatsagar, the water level is 1747.640 feet (1754.700 last year), Singur 1703.495 feet (1717.439).

In view of the depleted levels, authorities are considering resorting to emergency pumping from February onwards in Osmansagar and Himayatsagar. Together the twin reservoirs yield 45 mgd, but a shortfall of 20 mgd is expected from these sources. After March there will be no water left to pump. What it means is a deficit of 40 mgd for the city, which is struggling to manage with the present supply of 340 mgd.

Krishna water

In this scenario, the Water Board would have no option but to divert the Krishna water to the areas served by Osmansagar and Himayatsagar. Just a few months ago the Board did just that - diverting 9 mgd of Krishna water to areas served by Osmansagar as it dried up.

Now again the hopes raised by copious rains two months ago of daily supply have been dashed. Consumers will have to brace up for water rationing next year.

However, authorities are pinning hopes on groundwater to bail them out. The recent rains have failed to fill the reservoirs but have charged up the groundwater table sufficiently. Bore wells in the city yield a total of 27 mgd and it is proposed to sink more bore wells in the days to come.

“We will pull on with some adjustments in the coming summer. The situation is bad but nothing to panic”, says J. Syamala Rao, Managing Director, HMWSSB.