The groundwater table in Anantapur district might have increased a bit compared to last month and given a temporary respite from a severe crisis that prevailed in mid-August, but despite good rains in all areas, the situation has worsened compared to last year.
Rayalaseema as a region also showed a fall of 2.78 metres compared to October 12, 2018. Except for Kurnool where the groundwater is available at 8.63 metres, in the other three districts of the region it is between 23.69 metres and 25.44 metres.
The availability of water is at an average depth of 23.69 metres below the ground level in Anantapur district as on Saturday, compared to 20.61 metres same day last year. Water availability became difficult from November last with average water table falling to 21.74 metres and by May this year it went down to 25.96 metres and the worst was in August at 27.75 metres due to late arrival of monsoon rains in the district, according to the Groundwater Department data.
In the short-term, there is an increase of nearly 4 metres in the level in the last two months due to abundant rains, but many of the central areas of the district did not get sufficient rain and Anantapur mandal was the best example with only 376.6 mm precipitation recorded against a normal of 425.5 mm, registering -11.5% deficit fall till Saturday evening.
The city will continue to heavily depend on Penna Ahobilam Balancing Reservoir for drinking water needs despite groundwater rising marginally in the city limits, but showing no promise of increase on its outskirts.
Anantapur city that got its name from Anantasagaram, a big tank, which means ‘endless ocean’ has got no inflows at all despite good rains in its catchment area of Rapthadu and Ramagiri mandals. This old reservoir occupies an area of 10,161,656.5 sq. m. A filled tank would save the day for the municipal corporation as it keeps the groundwater level within reach and caters to more than 30% of the city’s needs.
There are two summer storage tanks built within the Anantasagaram opposite the Collector’s office and they can be fed by HNSS water from Krishna.
The Anantapur Municipal Corporation draws 70 cusecs everyday from the PABR to filter it and supply it to households, thus consuming 0.18 tmcft every month and in the PABR once the Tungabhadra water stops coming in January through High Level Canal, 2.5 tmcft stored there is the only source for the people here for the next six months, HLC Superintending Engineer Nayakanti Rajasekhar points out.