Pakistan Agriculture News, Water

Four major rivers receive 29.72 percent less water flows: IRSA

ISLAMABAD – Indus River System Authority has said that the current water flows in four major rivers are 29.72 percent less than the last year.

The situation of water storage in the reservoirs is better than last year, however the water flows in the rivers are 11000 cusecs less than the previous year, said IRSA in a letter in reply to a question from opposition leader in National Assembly, Khursheed Shah.

Opposition leader in National Assembly, Khursheed Shah had written a letter to the Water division and asked it to provide the complete details of water situation including river flows, barrages position and reservoirs storages, official sources told The Nation here Sunday.

Indus River System Authority (IRSA), in its reply, said that the currently the reservoirs have 2 Million Acre Feet (MAF) which is higher than last year. The situation in dams improved due to better management by Sindh, the water regulator explained.

Regarding the water flows, the regulator informed that the rivers flows are less than the same period of last year. Last year the flows were 37000 cusecs which have reduced to 26000 cusecs this year.  In November, due to the water shortage, the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) upward revised the water shortage and anticipated that provinces will face 36 percent shortage during the Rabi season instead of the early forecast of 20 percent . It was anticipated that the country will receive 23.96 MAF against the early estimation of 29.48 MAF. The Water Accord 1991 empowered the Irsa to determine water availability in the country and allocate provincial share twice a year, once for Kharif and the other for Rabi seasons. The Rabi season starts from October 1 and Kharif from April 1. Balochistan and KP were exempted from cuts in the share, therefore, the water shortage is being distributed between Sindh and Punjab. Under the 1991 water accord, both Balochistan and KP are going to get their full share of 1.9 MAF and the remaining water will be distributed between Punjab and Sindh.

Currently the flows in River Indus at Tarbela were 13700 cusecs and outflows 5000 cusecs, flows in Kabul at Nowshera were 4100 cusecs, inflows in Jhelum at Mangla were 5800 cusecs and outflows were 5000 cusecs. Against the minimum operating level of 1380 feet, Tarbela’s present level is 1445.86 feet. The maximum conservation level of the dam is 1550 feet. Similarly, Mangla minimum operating level is 1040 feet, and present level is 1103.60 feet. The maximum conservation level of Mangla is 1242 feet. Chashma’s present level is 640.90 feet against its minimum operating level of 637 feet and maximum conservation level of 649 feet.