Inflows into reservoirs across Krishna dwindling

VIJAYAWADA, AUG. 21. Inflows into the Krishna from upstream reservoirs in Karnataka are gradually decreasing. Reservoirs in Andhra Pradesh are, however, getting filled to the brim with the Srisailam dam barely 1.5 feet short of its full capacity. Deriving advantage out of water releases, the Andhra Pradesh Generation Corporation (AP GENCO) has commenced generation of at least 2,000 MW through Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar hydel power projects.

While water is being discharged into Nagarjunasagar, there is hardly any inflow into Somasila reservoir in the Pennar basin from Srisailam right branch canal (SRBC). The SRBC gets water from Pothireddypadu head regulator, to which water is diverted from the foreshore of Srisailam project.

Apart from the SRBC, the Pothireddypadu head regulator has two other canals. While one canal supplies water to the Telugu Ganga project, another is an escape channel empties into the Pennar which flows parallel to the Krishna, separated by a ridge at Srisailam. The water that gets emptied into the Pennar reaches Somasila reservoir.

Water for Chennai

While all other reservoirs, drawing water from the Krishna, have been getting water following monsoon rain in the catchment areas in Karnataka and Maharashtra, another reservoir that has not got any inflow is Kandaleru, which is a source of drinking water to Chennai city. As there is no discharge from Somasila reservoir, water is not going into the Kandaleru. While Somasila has a storage capacity of over 73 tmcft, it has only 1.39 tmcft in the storage as on Saturday.

Similarly, Kandaleru has 1.42 tmcft in store as against the gross storage capacity of 68.03 tmcft. Therefore, only 15 cusecs is being released, according to the officials of Irrigation department.

However, engineering officials feel that the water could be pumped into the three channels at Pothireddypadu, if the inflows continued at the current levels for some more time. This would automatically ensure water into Telugu Ganga project and also Kandaleru reservoir, kindling hopes of supply of drinking water to Chennai city.