Canals irrigate about 37.3 per cent of the net irrigated area of Andhra Pradesh. Here inadequate rainfall, level and fertile plain facilitate the development of canal irrigation in the state. Important canals are as follows:
1. Godavari Delta Project Canals-The
Godavari delta project comprises two-weirs-the Dolaishwaram and the Ralli. From these, right bank and delta canals have been taken out to irrigate about 4.5 lakh hectares of land. These canals were completed in 1846.
2. Krishna Delta Canals-The Krishna irrigation system originates from the dam built across the river near Vijayawada. It was completed in 1853. It irrigates about 4.5 lakh hectares of agricultural land. The system includes Vijayawada anicut, Sunkesula anicut and Tungabhadra canals.
3. Nagarjuna Sagar Project Canals-the project was launched in 1956. A barrage has been built across the Krishna river at Nandikoda (Nalgonda) from which right bank Jawaharlal (204 km) and left bank Lalbahadur (179 km) canals have been taken out which have an irrigation potential of 8.95 lakh hectares of land in Khammam, Krishna, West Godavari (left bank canal), Guntur, Nellore, Nalgonda and Kurnool (right bank canals) districts.
4. Tungabhadra Project Canals-under the project a dam has been constructed across the Tungabhadra river near Hospet (Karnataka) which irrigate about 4.97 lakh hectares of area in Mahbubnagar, Anantapur and Kurnool districts.
5. Rampad Sagar Project Canals-under this project a dam has been built over the Godavar River at Polavaram. Canals of the project irrigate about 11 lakh hectares of land in Vishakhapatnam, Krishna, Godavari and Guntur districts.
6. Others-Canals of the Nizam Sagar irrigate about 1.1 lakh hectares of area in Medak district, the Penner canals in Nellore disrict irrigate 68,000 hectares and the Pochampad project about 1 lakh hectares in Adilabad and Karimnagar districts. The Telugu-Ganga Project arising out of an agreement between Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu aims at providing irrigation facilities to 3 lakh hectares of famine affected area in Kurnool, Cuddapah, Nellore and Chittoor districts.