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Water scarcity in Pakistan is worse than expected: IRSA

Representative image. — Reuters/File
  • Pakistan facing severe water shortage of 38% for irrigation purposes.
  • IRSA previously predicted water shortages of 22%.
  • Water minister says the water shortage situation will improve by 15 June.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan facing severe water shortage of 38% for irrigation purposes during the kharif season, which began on April 1 with sowing of major agricultural crops, including cotton, sugarcane, rice and corn.

Indus River System Authority (IRSA), regulating and supervising distribution of water sources of the Indus River among all four federal subjects, made a presentation to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly. on Water resources on Thursday.

Authorities said water shortages are now worse than previously predicted. of 22%. Currently there is a lack of water of 38% hit hard two main agricultural provinces – Punjab and Sindh – and influencing current crop sowing scheme.

Nawab Yusuf Talpur presided over the meeting and the federal minister for Water Resources Khurshid Shah, Minister of Sindh for The meeting was attended by irrigation jam Khan Shoro and other officials. The committee was panel composed of representatives of federal government Punjab and Sindh to solve problems of provinces and give recommendations for fair distribution of water between the subjects of the federation.

The committee will measure the inflow and outflow of water at the Guddu and Sukkur dams and their auxiliary canals. on Friday. At the same time it also instructed with recommendations for fair distribution of water between the subjects of the federation.

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According to IRSA, the inflow of Indus River from April 1 to April 30 at Tarbela was 13% less – 1,831 MAF compared to expected costs of 2.102 DMRV. On the contrary, the flow of Kabul river declined by 46%, Mangla by 44% and Chenab by 48%. Actual inflows during this period were recorded at 5,350 MAF compared to a forecast of 8,590 MAF, indicating a deficit. of 38%.

Precipitation below average

IRSA also reported that rainfall across the country in April 2022: 74% below average and ranked first second driest month since 1961. Rain in April stayed below average all over the country. Punjab received 89%, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 79%, Balochistan 79%, Azad Jammu and Kashmir 56% and the UK 51%. IRSA mentioned that the massive reduction in the inflow from the Kabul River was unexpected.

Reply to a dot of order raised in National Assembly by several MNAs about the shortage of water in Sindh and Punjab, Minister for Water resources Khurshid Shah said that the country facing water scarcity and tailings of Sindh and Punjab suffered the most. According to him, by June 15, the situation with water shortages will improve.

He assured that all provinces will be provided with water in accordance with their share and water shortages will be divided accordingly. He asked Punjab government give up up to 300 µs of water in Cholistan districts of southern Punjab from his share.

Former Council of The Secretariat of Common Interest (CCI) formed a steering committee chaired by of in minister for water resources to sort out differences between provinces.

Meanwhile, water supplies at the Mangla Dam were recorded almost at the bottom even during the peak summer inflow season, making it the lowest level ever recorded at that point. of time with filling down for nine times against ten-year average.

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Against Mangla Dam maximum filling capacity of 7.55 million acre feet (MAF), water storage on May 10, 2022, was recorded in just 0.151 million acre feet over 1,539 MAF average recorded for corresponding day in in last 10 years (from 2012 to 2021). It worries development shows mangla dam storage down for nine times or 920%.

‘Unfilled of The Mangla Dam could lead to disaster

Storage in view bottomless low flows, filling of Mangla Dam on river Jhelum to maximum the level of conservation becomes almost impossible because more how half of peak season has already expired.

According to the developing scenario, said senior official only high flood on in back of heavy rainfall for quite a long period of a few weeks maybe lead until the dam is filled maximum water holding capacity.

Potential underfill of The Mangla Dam could spell disaster for agricultural sector in current season Kharif and especially in the upcoming Rabi season, when the strategic wheat crop is grown, it added.

The reservoir at the Tarbela dam was also short of annual filling trend. With a small relative improvement, the storage of the Tarbela dam was down by 68.45% against middle level of in last 10 years. May 10, 2022 Tarbela dam reservoir on The Indus River was recorded at 0.168 MAF. against registered average value 0.283 MAF for corresponding day in in last 10 years (from 2012 to 2021).

At such a low level of storage and lean flows especially in on the Jhelum, Kabul and Chenab rivers, canal shortages continue hit standing cultures. Sindh province being the lower coastal area is also at the receiving end until there is no shortage of water concerned. low flows of water has been especially attested in Dams of Sukkur and Kotri, where people even rely on the river flows for meet their drinking needs.

Read more: Water taps of Pakistan run dry by 2025

However, dry conditions in Mangle Command area claim it is a direct result of historically low flows in the Jhelum and Chenab rivers. Punjab, being main recipient of streams out of these rivers, now bear the brunt of colossal water shortage. In accordance with latest the water situation in dams and canals in The Punjab is fed by the Mangla and Chenab rivers. in absence of reasonable deviation from the Indus zone, there is a huge deficit of inflow in main channels.

At present, the water demand at the Towns Dam is 21,500 cubic seconds, while only 8,404 cubic seconds available with 61% decrease in tributaries. Similarly, the demand for water at the Panjnad Dam is 14,650 cubic seconds, while there is only 4,642 cubic seconds, indicating a decrease of 68%. Trimm’s dam requires 16,700 cubic seconds, while only 10,700 cubic seconds available with a drop of 36% inflow.

The channels of the Sulemanka dam require 13,300 cubic seconds. of water, but only 6506 cubic meters. available with reduction of 51%. islamic fence facing deficit 45% of water, and the head plant Baloki is in the heart of of Punjab province facing deficit 36%.

As a result, the Lower Bahaval Canal for Bahawalpur, which needs 5,062 cubic seconds, but with reduction of 65%, only gets 1800 cubic seconds. The Mailsy channel requires 4505 cubic seconds. for Lodhran, but only 1962 pieces are in operation. with 56% reduction in tributaries. Overall channel system of Punjab needs total of 84 517 µs of water, but now all system is an facing deficit of 47%, about 60,000 cubic seconds withdrawal against in demand of 88,000 pieces.

Originally published in

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Derrick Santistevan
Derrick is the Researcher at World Weekly News. He tries to find the latest things going around in our world and share it with our readers.

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