Hyderabad: The reservoirs and barrages on the mega Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme, which are already brimming with water following heavy rains and good inflows, have begun paying dividends not only in ensuring supply of irrigation water to lakhs of acres but also in substantially increasing the groundwater table.
A quick look at the analysis carried out by the State Groundwater Department reveals that groundwater levels had improved in an impressive 2,419 sq kms of the project area covering Sircilla, Siddipet and Gajwel constituencies in July. Statistics provided by the department reveal that the average groundwater level in the State in July this year was 9.26 metres below ground level (mbgl) compared to 14.12 mbgl for the corresponding month in 2019. The analysis was carried out using 958 piezometers.
During July this year, 16.2 per cent of the KLIS project area was occupied by shallow water levels as against just 4 per cent in 2019, which works out to 602 sq kms of the project area.
Explaining the reasons for the remarkable rise in water table, Director, Groundwater Department, Pandith Madhnure, told Telangana Today that the State had received 50 per cent of rainfall in just two months — June and July. “The KLIS reservoirs in Siddipet and Rajanna Sircilla were subsequently filled, increasing the water table in the project area. These are the areas which were earlier deprived of reservoir water and were mainly rain-fed,” he said.
Water levels of 10-15 mbgl, 15-20 mbgl and more than 20 mgbl occupied 39.4 per cent, 29.3 per cent and 15.1 per cent respectively of the KLIS area during July 2020. “This improvement, more visible in July compared to all years, was noticed in south-eastern parts of Nizamabad, eastern Kamareddy, entire Rajanna Sircilla, central eastern Siddipet and most of the Bhongir districts,” he said.
Simultaneously, water level fluctuation during July 2020 compared with decadal mean (2010-2020) of 700 wells in the State showed a rise of 78 per cent in 549 wells, and a fall of 22 per cent in 151 wells. The maximum rise of 26.40 metres was recorded in Dharur village and mandal of Jogulamba district while the minimum rise of 0.01 metres in water level was recorded in Dharmapuri village and mandal of Jagityal and Peddapadishala village, Gunadala mandal of Yadadri districts.
The Groundwater Department suggested measures such as conservation, augmentation and demand-side measures like drip and sprinkler irrigation methods and change in crop patterns from highly water consuming varieties of paddy to less water consuming varieties of ID crops mainly in non-command areas and more particularly during Yasangi season.
The department says that this will go a long way in sustaining this hidden resource. Laser leveling of land, piped irrigation in major command areas of the State and conjunctive use of both surface and groundwater in canal command area and releasing of water (on and off method) from tail to head reaches should be implemented more particularly during Yasangi, Madhnure said.
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