Andhra Pradesh

Acute water crisis stares at six districts in TS

he alarming depletion of groundwater table ranging from 6.83 ft to 24.57 ft in most parts of the State this season compared to last year has not only strained the drinking water sources already, but has also caught the administration ill-prepared to tackle the impending crisis even before the onset of summer this year.

Statistics on the groundwater level in the last week of January prepared by the department clearly indicate that the situation is likely to be worse than expected in many parts of the State, as the depletion of water table has been found alarmingly high in Karimnagar, Nalgonda, Ranga Reddy, Mahabubnagar, Nizamabad and Medak districts, with the last two being the worst-affected.

The deficit in annual average rainfall till January-end in Karimnagar, Adilabad, Mahabubnagar, Ranga Reddy, Medak and Nizamabad, ranging from 27 per cent to 50 per cent, has taken a heavy toll on the groundwater table as well as on water bodies such as tanks and reservoirs.

“Singur, Manjira, Nizamsagar and Sriramsagar reservoir going dry, nearly total, has affected the water table in their catchment and service areas badly”, a filed-level engineer working for the Rural Water Supply Department in Medak district stated.

Water table has gone down beyond 13.33 ft in 103 out of 352 monitoring stations, where the Groundwater Department has measured the impact. Similarly, the fall in water table was noticed in the range of 6.67 ft and 13.3 ft at 67 places and up to 6.6 ft in another 117 places.

“This is the situation only in areas where there is monitoring and similar conditions could be prevailing in more areas where the water table is not monitored”, a senior official working for Mission Bhagiratha said.

Official sources admitted that drinking water scarcity is likely to stare at more than half of nearly 23,000 habitations in the State before March-end itself due to strain on the groundwater sources of protected water supply schemes and groundwater table in case of hand pumps.

The RWS Department has already commenced drinking water supply through tankers to some habitations already in Medak, Nizamabad and Karimnagar districts.

According to officials, the groundwater table depletion has been noticed highest at Dharoor (Mahabubnagar) where it has depleted by 86.47 ft this January compared to last January. It was also measured high at Bazarhatnur (Adilabad-66.74 ft), Bantwaram (Ranga Reddy-60.17 ft), Shankarampet (Medak-54.14 ft), Biknoor (Nizamabad-54 ft), Yenugonda (Mahabubnagar-50.77 ft) and Mellacheruvu (Nalgonda-50 ft).

Meanwhile, the State government has recently released Rs.55 crore from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to Collectors of Mahabubnagar, Medak, Nizamabad, Ranga Reddy, Nalgonda, Karimnagar and Warangal districts to mitigate drinking water problem in scarcity habitations in 231 drought-hit mandals.

The Engineer-in-Chief of RWS B. Surender Reddy has prepared a contingency action plan requesting the government to release Rs. 311 crore to tackle drinking water problem during summer.



Drinking water scarcity is likely to hit thousands of habitations by March-end




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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 9:39:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/acute-water-crisis-stares-at-six-districts-in-ts/article8242819.ece

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