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. The water level in the only two existing reservoirs is also falling steadily.
A second consecutive year of drought, rapidly falling ground water table and scorching heat have added to the woes of the Greater Hyderabad region that is home to over one crore people.
State government officials said traditional water sources which the city depends on— the Himayat Sagar, Osman Sagar, Singur and Manjira reservoirs — no longer have enough water for supply. The city is now banking on water supply from the Krishna and Godavari rivers.
At present, the city is getting water from the Krishna and Godavari rivers, thanks to the projects taken up in the past 10-15 years. Pipelines were laid for 170 to 200 km 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.
Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (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 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.