Chairman of the Telangana Water Resources Development Corporation V. Prakash Rao, while praising the Telangana government for taking up the Kaleshwaram project, sought to remind that availability of water in the project was dependent on whether or not the upper riparian states chose to build barrages on tributaries that fed into Godavari river.
Addressing a seminar on the topic, ‘Sustainable water resources management to meet Hyderabad city demands — A Challenge’, organised by the Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday, Mr. Prakash Rao reminded that Wainganga river travelled via Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra before emptying into Pranahitha, and the Indravathi river, born in Odisha, travelled via Chhattisgarh before entering Godavari.
“If these states choose to utilise the water by constructing dams, it is likely that Kaleshwaram too could become another Sriram Sagar. We are planning the project now, based on current availability,” said Mr. Prakash Rao, while stressing the need to conserve water for future.
Dismissing the much-hyped rainwater harvesting structures such as percolation tanks as of limited use, he suggested alternative method of diverting rainwater straight from the roof to sump or bore-well.
“Personally, I am against percolation tanks, as their capacity is limited. They can at the most, increase moisture in the earth. Instead, rainwater can be tapped on the rooftop and routed through a sand filter, to a sump, or a bore-well or both, to replenish the underground aquifers. It is a matter of ₹10,000 in expenditure terms,” he said, while urging agencies such as Central Water Commission or the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board to explore the idea.
Though India was thickly populated with fewer resources, its people were better in terms of rainfall than countries such as Israel, he said, adding that through conservation of rainwater, cities could survive without help from the government.
Executive Director of the HMWS&SB M. Satyanarayana spoke on surface water resources available in the city, while Regional Director of Central Ground Water Board D. Subba Rao explained the ground water situation, in the technical sessions. Project coordinator of SACI Solomon Raj spoke on surface water bodies and lakes.