Hyderabad is facing a major water supply crisis, with all four reservoirs supplying water to the city drying up for the first time in 30 years, and water levels in the only two existing reservoirs falling.
A second successive year of drought, a falling ground water table and scorching heat this season have added to the woes of Greater Hyderabad with its population of over one crore.
Government officials said traditional water sources which the city usually depends on- Himayat Sagar, Osman Sagar, Singur and Manjira reservoirs- are no longer able to supply water, so the city is banking on supply from Krishna and Godavari rivers.
At present, the city is getting water from the Krishna and Godavari rivers, thanks to the projects taken up during the last 10-15 years. Pipelines were laid for 170 to 200 kms to ensure supply.
However, falling levels in reservoirs across the two rivers have sent alarm bells ringing. The levels in Nagarjuna Sagar and Yellampally reservoirs across the Krishna and Godavari rivers have reached dead storage.
HMWS&SB managing director Dana Kishore, however, is confident that the current supply can be maintained till June 15.
The situation may be tough if there are no inflows into the reservoirs by that time. With many projects upstream drying up, the board is not sure if the reservoirs will receive fresh inflows even if monsoon arrives on time and there is good rainfall.
As an emergency measure, the board is arranging motors to pump the water from these two reservoirs. Officials said the use of pumps will yield muddy water.
The Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) is supplying 335 million gallons of water per day, against a demand for 660 million gallons. There is a shortfall of about 47%.
People in many localities, especially those on the fringes of the city, don’t have access to piped water. They are being supplied water through tankers which residents say comes once in four to five days.
Even in the areas having piped supply, the water pressure and duration have come down, residents say. Many localities get water every half-an-hour to one hour.
Greater Hyderabad population: Over one crore
Current supply: 335 Million Gallons per Day (MGD)
Current Demand: 660 MGD
Supply from Krishna river: 264 MGD
Supply from Godavari river: 86 MGD
Dead storage level in Nagarjuna Sagar on Krishna, Yellampalli on Godavari