Saturday, 18 April 2009

Water crisis in Andhra Pradesh due to overexploitation of ground water

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Ground water levels have fallen by about five metres indicating the severe water crisis in the State as the summer advances in the next couple of weeks.
The State is now faced with the lowest ever ground water levels recorded in the past one decade. Rayalaseema and Telangana are the worst affected regions where the average fall in ground water is as high as five metres. Never in the past the State had witnessed such a phenomenal fluctuation in the ground water levels in a span of eight months.
If one looks at the water levels in the past few years, there is a fall of more than five metres in parts of Prakasam, Chittoor, Kadapa, Anantapur, Kurnool, Mahbubnagar, Ranga Reddy, Medak, Adilabad, Warangal and Nalgonda districts.
People in as many as 167 mandals, mostly in Rayalaseema and Telangana, will literally crave for water if official statistics are any indication. Anantapur district will be in real trouble with 28 mandals going dry. It is followed by Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy's native Kadapa and Telugu Desam supremo N Chandrababu Naidu's native Chittoor districts with 17 mandals each. Mahbubnagar in Telangana and Prakasam in Andhra have also been declared as "severe water shortage areas".
According to official records in the ground water department, the average depth to water level in the State had come down from 7.60 metres a few years ago to 14.00 metres now5. Rainfall came down from 1128 mm to 611 mm in the last few years, while the exploitation of the ground water resources had gone up upsetting the delicate balance.
The State is in the grip of severe water shortage. Against the normal rainfall of 940 mm the State received just 611 mm till January-end, recording a deficit of 35 per cent. Only Khammam, Nellore, Nalgonda, Srikakulam and Mahbubnagar districts received normal rainfall.
Ground water levels in Thimmaiahgaripalli village in Chitvel mandal of Kadapa district have gone down to 72.85 mts, the deepest water level for any place in the State. Deep water levels of more than 20 metres were recorded at the end of January in parts of Medak, Hyderabad, Mahbubnagar, Anantapur, kadapa, Chittoor and Praskasam districts while wagter levels between 10 and 20 mts were recorded in almost the entire Rayalaseema and Telangana regions and in parts of Prakasam and West Godavari districts.

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