The state of Andhra Pradesh is committed provide access to quality drinking water by conservation and sustainable management of its water resources. Efficiency enhancement, conserving groundwater resources, and increasing irrigation potential are the chief goals for this sector. In consonance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the state also aims to drought proof and provide full coverage with safe drinking water for all the people by 2019. By 2029, the state aims to attain optimum treatment, reuse, and recycling of wastewater according to national standards, in order to balance competing water demands across sectors to meet its development priorities.
In order to meet the irrigation and drinking water needs of drought-prone Rayalaseema region in the state, Andhra Pradesh has successfully interlinked Godavari and Krishna rivers by completing Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Project and endeavours to expedite the Polavaram Project on a priority basis. The Polavaram Vijayawada link enabling Godavari water to Rayalaseema region through Krishna and Penna Basin is expected to provide 80 TMC water for Krishna Delta and 49.5 TMC for enroute irrigation. It would provide 5.7 TMC for domestic and Industrial supply. NABARD has sanctioned 1981.54 crores for the construction of Polavaram project.
Overall, it is expected that from the inter-linking of rivers 150 to 200 TMC of water can be utilised and 15 lakh acres gap ayacut can be bridged. It can also lead to creation of new ayacut of 14 lakh acres in drought prone areas.
In terms of drinking water coverage, currently, of the total 48364 rural habitations, 23491 are fully covered with the norms of 55 LPCD. There are 422 quality affected habitations in the state. 45.48% of urban households are covered with piped drinking water supply.
- “Water Grid” as one of the 5 Grids launched to ensure full provision of adequate and good quality drinking water for all.
- “20 Non-negotiable” and “Smart Village and Smart Ward” initiatives, aims to provide 100 percent coverage of safe drinking water through piped supply to all households and to eliminate open defecation.
- “NTR Sujala Pathakam” is a policy decision taken by the AP Government to address the issue of quality of drinking water associated with water supply and distribution networks, to provide 20 litres of safe drinking water in a can to each household for Rs.2.00. The aim is of reducing the diseases burden arising out of water borne diseases.
- State government’s initiative in the area of sustainable water management “Neeru-Chettu” programme, which focuses on promoting water conservation, water management and green cover improvement.
- Enforcement of legislation for regulation of groundwater and implementing quotas for sustainable abstraction in watersheds. Technology up gradation and initiate best practices to save energy, save water, improve ground water table and judiciously utilization of natural resources and sustainability.
- Other strategic initiatives such as Andhra Pradesh Micro Irrigation Project, Andhra Pradesh Drought Adaptation Initiative, AP Community Based Tank Management Project, and Andhra Pradesh Farmer Managed Groundwater Systems.