N. Sasidhar Abstract: This paper explains how the idle excessive dead storage of Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir could be put to use by Water Powered Pump units for creating additional irrigation potential and as carry forward storage to cope up with water shortage during drought years. Nagarjuna Sagar (NS) dam is constructed across the river Krishna with gross storage capacity of 408 Thousand Million Cubic feet (TMC). Its full reservoir level is 590 feet above the mean sea level (ft MSL). The left and right bank canals sill level is fixed at 490 ft MSL to supply irrigation water to two million acres. The unutilized water storage capacity is nearly 180 TMC below the canals sill/bed level. NS reservoir also meets the Krishna delta water requirements to the extent of 100 TMC by letting water down stream in to the river. Nearly 1.3 million acres is irrigated under Krishna Delta Canals. There is a possibility to utilize most of this idle storage capacity to store the river flood water and use as carry forward storage. Nearly 150 TMC idle storage up to 380 ft MSL can be used leaving 30 TMC for silt settlement. It is possible by installing Water Powered Pump (WPP) units at the base of the dam. WPP unit is a hydro turbine coupled to water pump. These units are installed at the toe of the dam. The water released from the dam in to the river for downstream needs will drive the turbine of WPP unit. The shaft power generated by the turbine would drive the pump of WPP unit to lift water above the reservoir level. Thus water is (refer Figure-1) drawn from the reservoir and partly pumped to higher level by harnessing the energy of water that is let in to the down stream river. In case of electric pumping stations, first hydro electricity is generated and then used to drive the electric pumping station. WPP unit pumps water by utilizing water energy directly without taking recourse to electricity. WPP unit is less costly than electric pumping stations since it is simple in construction, rugged and compact as it contains a hydro turbine connected by shaft to the pump. WPP units are installed at the toe of the dam in submerged or buried condition also with approach wells / shafts for operation and maintenance needs. Water conduits are to be laid from WPP unit to the high elevation point where water is to be released in to canal. WPP units including associated water conduits would cost less than electric pump units and also does not consume electricity unlike electric pump units. Thus substantial cost is reduced by avoiding separate hydroelectric power station, transmission lines, etc. to pump the water. WPP units are to be located at the toe of the NS dam with tail water level of 240 ft MSL on either side of the river. The WPP units can be connected below 380 ft MSL level to the reservoir with the technique called live reservoir / lake tapping. Live lake tapping method was implemented successfully in Koyna project to install additional hydroelectric units without emptying the Koyna reservoir. The following are the advantages of installing WPP units at NS dam • Nearly 150 TMC idle storage capacity is fully utilized. • WPP units do not consume electric power for pumping water. • This storage can be utilized as carry forward storage to meet water shortage during bad monsoon year. The cropping/ transplantation season under NS and Krishna Delta canals would be started in the beginning of June month coinciding with the onset of monsoon. This carry forward storage is used till the end of July month for all irrigation needs. The further irrigation needs are met from fresh river water from August onwards. The inflows in to upstream Srisailam reservoir during bad monsoon year can be used for uplands irrigation to 1 of 3

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the extent of this carry forward water storage. During good monsoon period, there is possibility to grow additional crop in 3.3 million acres with the available surplus water. This storage capacity can also be used for creating additional irrigated area in uplands of Nalgonda, Khammam and Guntur districts and also down stream of NS dam. When the NS reservoir level is above 490 ft MSL, WPP units can be used to pump water up to 590 ft MSL to supply water for uplands irrigation. When the NS reservoir is full at 590 ft MSL, water is supplied by gravity without operating WPP units. During the good monsoon years, WPP units can also be used for pumping water in to an upper level reservoir to store the available floodwater. This stored water is released in to NS reservoir for irrigation and hydropower requirements after monsoon season. No fresh land is submerged or need to be acquired. There is no displacement or rehabilitation of people. There is no need of central Government clearances. The approximate cost of WPP units installation is Rs 1500 crores. It would cost not less than Rs 5000 crores to create fresh storage capacity of 150 TMC. Thus installing WPP units at NS dam is highly economical.


The efficiency (Ewpp) of the WPP unit is as indicated below

Ht x Qt x Et x Eg = Hp x Qp / Ep Ewpp = (Hp / Ht) x (Qp / Qt) = Et x Eg x Ep Where Qp is the pumped water Qt is water used by turbine Ht is the head available to the turbine Hp is the head created by pump Et is the turbine efficiency ( more than 85%) Ep is the pumping efficiency (more than 85%) Eg is the gear box transmission efficiency(if any)

Ht Qp




(Note: if the text in above figure is not fully legible, please refer the link http://www.indiawaterportal.org/sites/indiawaterportal.org/files/Nagarjuna%20Sagar%20WPP %20units.doc ) The water availability during dry season to existing hydropower generating units (815 MW) would reduce to the extent of water released in to downstream river by the WPP units. However the existing hydel units would generate more secondary power with the better utilization of floodwater. The full capacity usage of the reservoir would moderate the peak flood inflows facilitating the operation of hydel units to generate power for longer duration by minimizing the over flow on the dam spillway. With the completion of NS tail pond, the hydel units can be used to produce peaking power by consuming surplus electricity from the grid. Installation of WPP units will not affect the water availability to the existing hydropower units on the whole. References: http://www.scribd.com/doc/58789365/Srisailam-HPS “Optimization of power generation from Srisailam hydroelectric power station” 2 of 3

http://www.scribd.com/doc/58796396/Krishna-River-Water-Harnessing Are pumped storage schemes beneficial for harnessing the Krishna river water further?

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