Nagarjuna Sagar records drop in water levels, alerting an upcoming water supply crisis Image Source:
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Eeshna Dashottar, Pune

With Nagarjuna Sagar recording a drop in water levels, the emerging problems are being addressed through the installation of emergency pumps at Puttamagandi in the Nalgonda District. These measures are being implemented on an urgent basis to pump 270 million gallons of water that will cater to over 60% of Greater Hyderabad’s population, as mentioned by the Times of India. 

Huge investments are being made by the authorities to handle this project. The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage Board (HMWSSB) is financing the emergency project with five crore to set up 600 HP capacity motors and submersible pumps. The investments are being made by HMWSSB as a part of the Krishna Drinking Water Supply project. The installed pumps will help in supplying water from Puttamgandi to Akkampally in Yadari Bhuvanagiri and then to Hyderabad. 

The water level in Nagarjuna Sagar is currently at 516.6 feet, as per the data of 25th February 2024 on the website of Andhra Pradesh Water Resources Information and Management System. This level is expected to drop to 510 feet by the third week of March (as stated by Times of India). This poses a risk as levels below 510 feet will ring threat alarms for aquatic life and negatively affect the city’s water supply. Similar problems emerged in March 2023 due to both, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, drawing water from the dam. Pumping machines were previously used in 2019 as well due to similar issues. 

Water shortages have also brought several other impending concerns that would cause inconveniences during the coming months. Power shutdowns and leakages hindering the smooth supply of water are two issues that have already emerged in this scenario. The surge in the demand for water tankers across the city is huge, with bookings increasing from 500 to 1,200 per day. The HMWSSB is trying to commission 25 more service reservoirs before the Lok Sabha elections to counter the upcoming challenges.  Telangana’s chief minister A Revanth Reddy, during a meeting on discussing civic issues on 23 February 2024, asked officials to formulate plans that will help in the water supply from Mallana Sagar, Kondapochamma and Ranganayaka Sagar reservoirs to Hyderabad. He also urged the officials to create pond clusters outside the Outer Ring Road of Hyderabad. 

With measures being discussed and problems increasing day by day, the requirement for more attention to the water crisis in the region is expected to be covered by the state government.