There is no water available for irrigation in the Srisailam reservoir

There is unlikely to be a second crop (Rabi) for a second consecutive year if the water levels in the Major reservoirs of the State are any indication. According to Reservoir Storage Monitoring System (RSMS), there is no water available for irrigation in the Srisailam Reservoir as per the norms of the Irrigation Department.

This may be because all the water from Srisailam was released to the Nagarjuna Sagar Reservoir that is downstream for power generation and also increase the level in the reservoir to the Minimum Draw Down Level (MDDL) of 510 feet to enable the State Government to release water to Krishna Delta farmers in the wake of a High Court stay.

But, the amount of water in Nagarjuna Sagar is not sufficient taking into consideration the needs of the ensuing Rabi in Krishna Delta. The State Government had asked the farmers to forego Rabi at the end of 2011 saying that the water in the reservoirs was not sufficient. There is just 38 tmcft of water available in Nagarjuna Sagar for Irrigation. There was 66 tmcft in the reservoir on the corresponding date last year, but the State Government opted to cancel the second crop.

The two big reservoirs in Karnataka -- Almatti and Tungabhadra – are comfortably placed with 71 tmcft and 64 tmcft.

Ironically the Vijayawada Irrigation Circle authorities had to lift the crest gates of the Prakasam Barrage when the river was in spate in October and November to let go 54 tmcft to prevent water from flooding low-lying areas on either side of the river upstream the barrage.

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