Hyderabad: Construction of a series of lift irrigation projects and protection of minor irrigation tanks with the help of Mission Kakatiya have, in fact, saved the State from depletion of groundwater. A comparison of replenishment of groundwater before and after the formation of the State in case of surplus and deficit rainfall showed that reservoirs, more than rains, helped improve the groundwater table.
The State Ground Water department has compared the five-year data of rainfall and groundwater levels in Telangana before and after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. While the State improved its groundwater level because of Mission Kakatiya and projects such as Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS), the real depletion in ground water levels could be seen before bifurcation even though there was considerably higher rainfall at that time.
Studies have shown that there were 21 all-India drought years during the last century (one drought every five years), of which 13 were linked to El Niño, and Telangana, which is part of the larger West Central Region (WCR) of India, is seen to be highly prone to El Niño events. “From the analysis, it is observed that the annual rainfall is not constant. Hence, the cumulative analysis for the last ten years (decadal) is divided into combine effect of two periods of five-year each ie, 2010-2014 and 2014-2019 in order to eliminate the effect of uncertainty,” Director Telangana Groundwater Department Pandith Madhunure told Telangana Today.
The analysis showed that there is an increase in net change of dynamic groundwater, even with the same amount of irrigation and less rainfall and thus showing a cumulative impact of various water schemes such as Mission Kakatiya, Kaleshwaram and other lift irrigation schemes implemented by the government of Telangana after its formation, he said.
While the annual rainfall declined from 4,572 millimetre during the five-year period of 2010-2014 to 4,357 mm in 2014-2019, the sum of gross area irrigated through the groundwater slightly increased. But the additional acreage had no adverse impact on the groundwater. The total sum of dynamic change in groundwater storage increased from 2,049 tmc in 2010-2014 to 2,336 tmc in 2014-2019, indicating a net positive change.
The department also looked into the groundwater position of the State over a period of ten years, (decadal analysis) and observed an increase in groundwater level in 74 per cent of the mandals. Water levels during January-2020, when compared with the decadal average (2010-2019) levels, show that of the 589 mandals, a rise in the range of 0.01-12.36 m is observed in 434 (74 per cent ) mandals and fall in the range 0.03-11.32 metres is observed in 155 (26 per cent) mandals.
An increase of up to 0.5 m is observed in 51 mandals, 0.5-1 m in 43 mandals, 1-2 m in 117 mandals and greater than 2 m in 223 mandals. These mandals fall in Asifabad, Mancherial, Jagtial, Nizamabad, Peddapalli, Nirmal, Sircilla, Warangal (Urban), Karimnagar, Siddipet (except western), Jangaon, Kamareddy, Yadadri (western), Bhupalpally, Mulugu, Bhadradri, Khammam (western and eastern), central parts of Sangareddy, Jogulamba, Medak (eastern), Nagarkurnool (western) and Wanaparthy districts.
A fall of up to 0.5 m is observed in 22 mandals, 0.5-1 m in 28 mandals, 1-2 m in 38 mandals and greater than 2 m in 67 mandals. These mandals are mainly in Kamareddy, Sangareddy, Bhadradri, Jayashankar, Rangareddy, Mahabubnagar, Medak (western), Vikarabad, Siddipet (northern), Medchal (western), Yadadri (eastern), parts of Nalgonda and Nagarkurnool districts.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.