Poor rainfall and drastic fall in ground water levels has hit the district of Kadapa hard. People in most areas of the district have been facing acute shortage of drinking water. The worst hit are the rural hinterlands. Close to 625 villages have been hit by shortage of drinking water. Women are forced to travel for kilometres to get water. It is worrisome that people from the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s own district have to suffer the toll of both, the rising mercury and falling water levels.
Meteorological records indicate that between June 2019 and January 2020 the district recorded rainfall of 561.41mm as against the normal level of 646.7mm. Even in the week ending 20 May 2020, there was a shortfall of about -52% in Kadapa. Such a shortfall is the cause behind depleting groundwater levels and has worsened the drinking water crisis.
Galiveedu, Porumamilla and Rayachoti mandals that lie within the district have suffered significant depletion of groundwater table with water level depth increasing from 17.26 metres to 18.75 metres. The Rural Water Works department has been shelling out Rs. 27,500 every day to hire private borewells. In addition, to this more and more tankers are being hired to cater to the unsustainable demand. Worst impacted by this is the agrarian sector, with low rainfall, crop land yield is set to fall and agricultural households will suffer a lot financially. The situation is far worse for farmers as water for irrigation purposes is already scarce.
The government at all levels, Kadapa corporation and Government of Andhra Pradesh need to intervene urgently to address this crisis. Only a natural, innovative solution can address this imminent crisis.