Pakistan Agriculture News, Water

Water availability situation worsens further

ISLAMABAD – Due to severe water shortage, IRSA has further reduced water outflows from Mangla dam to 5000 cusecs and also decreased the execution time for the IRSA directive regarding water releases by WAPDA from 36 hours to immediate.

In a letter, IRSA has told WAPDA that due to water shortage, from now on the execution time for the intend of water will not be 36 hours but all the directive regarding the water releases from reservoirs will be implemented immediately, official sources told The Nation here Friday. Under normal circumstances, WAPDA was required to implement the IRSA’s decision, for the water releases, within 36 hours but now the procedure has been changed, the source said.

From October 1st, the start of Rabi season, till 20th October, four main rivers received 20 percent less inflows than the anticipated ones, the source said. The total average anticipation in Indus, Kabul, Jhelum and Chanab was 3.675 MAF but the actual inflows of 2.943 MAF were received, the source maintained. For example, the official said that the average anticipated inflows of River Indus were 1.923 MAF however the inflows were 9 percent less or 1.747 MAF. It was anticipated that the average inflows in Kabul River will be 0.481 MAF but the actual inflows were 54 percent less or 0.22 MAF. Similarly, the anticipated inflows in Jhelum were 0.526 MAF, however the inflows were 36 percent less or 0.339 MAF. Regarding Chanab, it was anticipated that the average inflows will be 0.745 MAF but it received 15 percent less or 0.637 MAF water, the source said. The average outflows were estimated 3.994 MAF and the actual was 3.985 MAF and there was no change in the forcast, the source added.

During the same time, Tarbella level is 3.7 feet higher or 1483.70 feet against the anticipated 1480 feet. However the level of Mangla is more than 10 feet below or 1182.35 feet against the average anticipation of 1192.50 feet.

The releases from Mangla dam were further reduced from 10000 cusecs to 5000 cusecs. On Friday, inflows in Jhelum at Mangla were 6000 cusecs while outflows were 5000 cusecs, Inflows in Indus at Tarbela were 32900 cusecs while outflows 35000 cusecs, inflows in Kabul at Nowshera are 4100 cusecs while outflows 4100 cusecs, inflows in Chenab at Marala are 11500 cusecs while outflows were 4000 cusecs.

Earlier this week, IRSA had reduced the water outflows from Tarbella and Mangla by almost 20000 cusecs to 40000 and 30000 respectively. However, the outflows were further reduced by almost 30000 cusecs, during the past few days, and now outflows from Tarbella are 35000 cusecs while from Mangla 5000 cusecs. The reduction in outflow will also reduce hydroelectricity generation.

It is pertinent to mention here that Punjab has already requested the IRSA for the closure of all its canals, except Thal and Upper Jhelum Canal, from October 16 till the end of the current month. Sindh has also reduced its intake from 55000 cusecs to 40000 cusecs. The source said that the IRSA was going to convene a meeting during the first week of November to ponder over the water situation in rivers and reservoirs and will upward revise the water shortage during Rabi season.

Source The Nation