Normal monsoon seems to have little or no impact on inflows

The water position in the three major reservoirs on the Krishna and the major reservoir on its tributary (Tungabhadra) continues to be bleak, despite a good amount of rainfall in the last few days.

While the water available for irrigation is little or low, the inflows are also near negligible when compared to the capacities of the reservoirs. Only 22 tmcft of water is available for irrigation in Nagarjuna Sagar, while a minimum of 55 tmcft is required for irrigating the paddy sown in the Krishna delta for the ensuing kharif season. Unfortunately, as per Irrigation Department norms, no water is available for the purpose in Srisailam.

As if the scarcity of water in the reservoirs is not enough, 30 gates of Prakasam Barrage had to be raised by one foot to release over 20,000 cusecs into the sea as a flood control step on Thursday night. Rains in the area that falls in the catchment of the Krishna below Nagarjuna Sagar have sent the streams and rivulets into a spate causing a flood at the barrage leading to the release of water.

The water position is no better in the reservoirs in the upper reaches of the river, located in Karnataka too. Almatti, which has a full reservoir capacity of 130 tmcft, has just 34 tmcft available for irrigation, while Tungabhadra with a full reservoir capacity of 104 tmcft has just 15 tmcft available.

The normal monsoon seems to have had little or no impact on the inflows into these reservoirs.

The water position of reservoirs has a significant bearing on the water users downstream. The agricultural season (kharif) in the Krishna delta has already been kicked off with water being released from Prakasam Barrage on June 25. The water requirement for the season has been pegged at 74 tmcft. So there is a deficit of over 50 tmcft as on date.

Inflows of about 4,000 cusecs were recorded into Almatti on Friday morning and no releases were made as 54 per cent of the reservoir is yet to be filled.

An inflow of 17,000 cusecs was recorded into Tungabhadra and the ‘customary' 200 cusecs are being released from the reservoir, which is 82 per cent empty.

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