Hyderabad: The bone dry sections of the Krishna river bed between Almatti dam in Karnataka and the Jurala reservoir in Telangana have been gulping down large quantities of the 2.5 TMCft of water released by the neighbouring State for the drinking water needs of Mahabubnagar.
It is feared that no more than .5 TMCft of water will actually be ‘realized’ at Jurala when it finally reaches the reservoir in Telangana.
Meanwhile, fresh inflows — initially of up to 28 cusecs — were reported on Tuesday from Jurala indicating that the water released from Almatti in Karnataka on May 4, began reaching Telangana finally.
The flow began from Almatti down to Narayanpur, from where the water was let out to Gugal and further down to Girjapur – the last barrage in Karnataka on Krishna river — from where the river enters Telangana to meet the first dam in the State catching its flows at Jurala.
Request by KCR
It may be recalled that following a request from Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao for release of 3 TMCft of water to meet drinking water needs in erstwhile Mahbubnagar district, his Karnataka counterpart, HD Kumaraswamy, agreed to release 2.5 TMCft of water after taking into account the needs of his State during this summer. Following this, Karnataka began releasing water from Almatti dam, a few days ago for its eventual arrival at Jurala reservoir.
The manner in which the entire process was conducted by the leaders of the two States is being viewed in political circles as a gesture to further cement the cordial relations between Telangana and Karnataka, particularly following the formation of Telangana State.
And in a demonstration of just how thirsty a dry river bed can be, of the water released from Almatti, authorities at the Narayanpur dam let out only 1.8TMCft of water before shutting down the outflows from its spillway. It was reliably learnt that only .9 TMCft of water, just half of what was released from Narayanpur, reached the Gugal barrage. And Telangana officials estimate that by the time water from Gugal flows through Girjapur barrage and reaches Jurala, it is will be about .5 thousand million cubic feet of water.
To avoid such huge losses to seepage on a dry river bed, the ‘driving head’ of the water – the volume of the liquid at the front of a flow – has to be significantly large than the flows released by Karnataka. For instance, according to official estimates, from Almatti, the releases were to the tune of 3,000 cusecs, while from Narayanpur dam, it began with a mere 500 cusecs and increased in stages to 10,000 cusecs. And from Gugal, downstream of Narayanpur, the outflows began at 1,500 cusecs which were later increased to 3,000 cusecs.
One of the results of the slow flows has been that areas along the river in Karnataka had their groundwater recharged leaving just about a fifth of the total water released to eventually reach Telangana.