Historic Timing of Telangana LIFT Irrigation Projects in Arid World History


Jalam Mulam Idham Jagat.
Water is Root of Life in the World.

World has seen civilization in the vicinity of Water (Banks of Rivers and Shores of Seas) slowly and surely the high land interiors or rain shadow areas on earth have been becoming deserts over period of hundreds to thousands and probably millions of years, some rivers like saraswathi disappearing and some drying up.

While the Low lands in the coast or interiors in last two centuries have received irrigation water by the Reservoirs built on Rivers to impound and supply through gravity feed canal system within the river basin sometimes diverted to nearby basins. Sometimes the reservoir on one river has linked to the reservoir on another river using the gravity based canal system.

While this has helped humanity exploit the water for irrigation potential along with hydro power wherever the potential energy in the impounded water, wherever the water head was significant and economical to generate hydro power, in addition the rivers have been exploited as water ways using lock system.

On the other hand, Arid and Semi-Arid High Land areas have hitherto not had the fortune to access the river water primarily when the differential height was significant due to the cost of electric power required to pump water was always going up every year. With fossil fuels stock decreasing the cost of power started rising more from 1990 till about 2014, Recent past has seen the rising tariff’s tapering.
The revolution of Solar Power based on PV Technology Has Changed the course for the World its Prices have achieved Grid Parity in Most parts in 2015 itself far ahead of 2017~2020 many anticipated.

India too is not left behind and its prices now @ Rs 6 per unit and below for 25 Year PPA have ensured for the first time in History of India’s Power Sector, Power Tariff’s would have peaked out in 2016 itself or 2017 in some cases, already Gujarat has slashed the tariff’s in 2016 beginning April 1.

I am quite positive in my prediction hence forth tariff increases will be less than annual inflation, meaning on Net Present Value basis the tariffs will be decreasing not increasing.

LIFT Irrigation Projects Timing in the history of the Arid Parts of World
We can define any part of the world that would require more than 50 Meter’s potentially may be even more than 500 Meter water lift from nearest water body (River or Reservoir) as an Arid Part of the world. Such areas when the cost of power was increasing every year more than the inflation and particularly since agriculture power supply became FREE in many states of India, LIFT Irrigation has become the last priority of State Governments and this had direct impact on many part of Arid India stretching in Deccan Plateau and Parts of North and Western India resulting in desperate farmers digging millions of Bore well’s and going for much less productive Pump Irrigation system tapping underground water from hundreds of meters below the surface.
This lead to Governments separating the Agriculture feeder lines and restricting supply times to as low as just 3 hrs. in a day or whenever they had surplus power to save their cost.
This Triple whammy 1. No LIFT irrigation 2. Capital intensive self-financed pump irrigation from bore wells 3. Uncertain and low availability of power supply for agriculture has crippled the Arid land farmers in India that is where the farmer’s suicides have been rising since 1990’s to alarming levels.

Why is Telangana LIFT Irrigation Projects A. Transformative, B. Best Timing in History of Arid World ?
A. Transformative:

• Telangana intends to utilize its allocation of about 1000 TMC from Godavari River mostly by Lifting from over 2500 TMC water that flows through Telangana in River Godavari that is only going to the sea (Bay of Bengal).
• Such Large amount water irrigating arid areas will rise the underground water table that has been on decline for last 60 years
• Leverages Huge Ready Irrigation infrastructure investments made from Kakatiya Dynasty (Over 70,000 Water Tanks) to Nizam (Nizam Sagar, Himayat Sagar) and then Up-until Nehru times (SRSP) with Kakatiya Canal, Flood Flow Canal Systems all are ready without Water for two decades’ now
• Add areas that never ever had the irrigation water source like large areas in Medak, Nalgonda, Mahaboob Nagar particularly
• Going for Staged Balancing Reservoirs all through the path of LIFT choosing areas that have minimum submergence, minimum flood risk and maximum storage capacity
• Stage Reservoirs Removes the RISK of non-Supply to all Areas during non-availability of water in River or non-availability of Power either of it is disruptive risk for the farmers in a LIFT irrigationDaily Power Load Graph

  • Stage Reservoirs also enables the State to utilize Power Availability during slack demand and LIFT more and let the gravity system give uniform uninterrupted 24 hrs. supply for the period of crop. (Refer to below chart) Assume Govt has capacity of 7000 MW (It would be wasting Power for almost 10 Hrs. in summer and 14 Hrs. in Winter due to low Load on the Grid which it can utilize to LIFT Water from One Stage to Next Stage and So On. Which Otherwise Goes Waste without any revenue.
  • Once the water starts reaching the arid areas, I am positive farmer suicides will start decreasing significantly.

B. Best Timing in History of Arid World?

While till date the cost of Power has been on rise same or more than the inflation as explained before thanks to solar power it’s not going to rise any more than inflation and it may in fact reduce where its already peaked out like the state of Gujarat has cut the tariff’s by 10 paise from 1st April 2016

Telangana Irrigation Projects Timing is Best and their Viability is Beyond any reasonable doubt because of Solar Power PPA’s or 25 Years are Fixed about @ Rs 6 per unit Only may fall further. Telangana already has over 2000 MW contracted and or commissioned solar power projects and this could be augmented as per the progress of LIFT irrigation Projects.

The Clue for Why this Solar Power Purchase ensures Telangana LIFT irrigation Projects viable can be understood from below table.25 Year PPA

These Prices means, After 5 Years its Todays Rs 4.1 After 10 Years its todays Rs 2.54 After 15 Years it’s to-days Rs 1.58 After 20 Years onwards it costs less than Rs 1 of today.

Current Projects will take 5 Years to 10 Year’s time and once completed they have life time of 15 to 20 Years before pumps become due for major overhauls while the Reservoirs last for hundreds of years as they have no Risk of Siltation with new Big ones like Mallanna Sagar not contemplated on any Rivers with silt inflow or risk of flood.

Clearly Over Next 5 Years Achieving the LIFTS up to 100 to 200 Meter years become the Target and 5 to 10 years’ time this sphere of influence of LIFT irrigation covers entire Telangana State so much that Dindi may become the Godavari – Krishna River Linkage “Kaleshwaram to Mallanna Sagar to Dindi – Nagarjuna Sagar”  in Year 10 to 15 !

This is why Andhra Pradesh is on a Wrong Path in its attempts to create troubles to Telangana as solution to their own problems lies in Telangana LIFT irrigation for future Generations as Land acquisition in Andhra for any Irrigation Project from Godavari to Krishna Beyond Polavaram Right Canal capacity is impractical while Telangana is blessed with Dindi River to irrigate Nalgonda and supply to Nagarjuna Sagar too..

Collaboration is Key to success and I hope Andhra Pradesh learns to shun the path of confrontation with Telangana and starts collaborating for mutual good.

More so hoping those who have had questions on Viability and those who thought Reservoirs are not required in LIFT irrigation have had clarification enough not to obstruct if not openly support.
Jalam Mulam Idam Jagat

Poddutoori Venkata Gandhi

Concise version in Telugu is posted in Namasthe Telangana Daily

20160819

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5 thoughts on “Historic Timing of Telangana LIFT Irrigation Projects in Arid World History

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  3. zen4it

    Good post, but can you share more details on viability costs of adding reservoirs and how will the GOT will recover monies on such huge investments. Power costs are only running costs but how about financial costs or are these projects being built on free monies. While the intent is good, should these projects place a huge financial burden on the future citizens of the state. Shouldn’t there be a more deeper study on costs vs benefits?

    Reply
    1. Venkat Gandhi Post author

      Main On-going cost is Power Only..

      GoT provides Agriculture Power FREE even today so .. Lot of Irrigation Pumps consuming Power now will come down when LIFT irrigation starts..

      Irrigated Lands Pay Higher Tax, at some point, LIFT irrigated areas will have to pay slightly higher, such policy will emerge in due course

      Reply
    2. Venkat Gandhi Post author

      Can any one quantify the benefits of preventing lands turning into deserts for lack of water ?
      Can any one quantify the benefit of saving human hrs and days saved when water reaches home for drinking instead of walking kilometers daily for drinking water for family.

      Basically the Governments have to evaluate the alternatives and choose the optimal way to deliver water to all its citizens and farmers and protect the invaluable lands from becoming deserts

      Reply

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