The City of Nawabs is running out of water, and fast! With only 48 days of drinking water left, here’s why you should be worried. By Bayar Jain
Netflix’s latest dystopian show Leila depicts, among other things, an almost drought-ridden city waging in water wars and paying for what seemed like an endless commodity. Judging by the current situation, the show could easily become a premonition for Hyderabad’s dry spell. A delay in monsoons in the region, coupled with extremely low levels of freshwater inflows in the reservoir have resulted in a severe water crisis Hyderabad could run out of drinking water in the next 48 days.
Currently, the City of Nizams gets its water from the Nagarjunasagar and Yellampally reservoirs in River Krishna and the Godavari respectively. This water is then supplied to the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, along with the adjacent areas of Greater Hyderabad. However, as monsoons are delayed in the region, these reservoirs are not receiving a regular supply.
According to data recorded by the Telangana State Development Planning Society, the cumulative rainfall till July 14 was only 115.1mm. This is far below the normal 161.7mm of rains it receives each year. In the Rangareddy and Medchal-Malkajgiri districts, this deviation is as high as -24% and -39% respectively. As per The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB), water levels are usually up by 5-10 feet by this time. However, this year, not even one foot of water has been added to the existing levels so far.
Residents rely heavily on reservoir waters for survival. An increase in population along with the absence of large rivers, which have either ceased to exist or have turned into large dumping grounds, have made matters worse. This heavy reliance on groundwater implies that the current water levels are only sufficient to last another 48 days – unless the Rain Gods bless us!