Pakistan Agriculture News, Water

Provinces can face up to 40pc water shortage in Kharif

ISLAMABAD – The Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has convened meeting of technical committee on March 22nd to determine the provincial water share for the upcoming Kharif season, it is learnt reliably here Friday.

Due to variation in flows, the water availability situation for Kharif is not clear yet, however as per rough estimates the provinces can face 30 to 40 percent water shortage during the first month of Kharif season, starting April 1, an official source told The Nation.  The source said that on March 20th the authority will review the water availability situation in the country and on 22nd Irsa’s technical committee will review the water availability situation for Kharifseason.

However, the source said that the final decision about the anticipated water shortage for Kharif and determination of provinces share will be taken in the Irsa’s advisory committee meeting to be held by the end of this month.

The Water Accord 1991 empowered Irsa to determine water availability in the country and provincial share twice a year, once for Kharif season and the other for Rabi season. Rabi season starts from October 1 while Kharif starts from April 1.

The source further said that Saturday (today) the water regulator will further increase the share of the provinces and will allow 2000 cusecs for Punjab’s Taunsa and Dera Ghazi Khan Canals.

Due to rains in catchment areas, the shortage of Punjab and Sindh has been decreased from 64percent to 54percent as Irsa has increased the share of both the provinces by 10000 cusecs.

Due to rains in the catchment areas the river inflows have further increased by 17200 cusecs from 53,000 cusecs to 70,200 cusecs, said IRSA spokesman Khalid Rana, in an interaction with media.

He said that that due to improved flows Irsa has increased supplies to Punjab and Sindh and their shortages have reduced from 64percent to 54percent respectively. Rana said that Punjab share has been increased from 20,300 cusecs to 26,700 cusecs and Sindh from 13,000 cusecs to 17,000 cusecs.

He said that Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa share will remain the same and Balochistan will get 3000 cusecs and KP will get 2400 cusecs. No changes in the share of Balochistan and KP as they are getting full supply, he explained. However the spokesman said that no share is released to Punjab Taunsa canals. Irsa also issued water account report and shortages faced by the provinces during the period October 1 2017 to March 10, 2018.

According the report Punjab faced 31percent shortage, Sindh 32 percent, Balochistan 7 percent and KP faced 21 percent water shortage .

Similarly Punjab has utilized 11.9 MAF against its share of 17.3 MAF, Sindh share is 13.4 MAF but the province has utilized 9.13 MAF, Balochistan utilized 1.05 MAF against its share of 1.12 MAF while KP utilized only 0.46 MAF water against its allocated share of 0.56 MAF.

As per the position of the river inflows and outflows at Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma along with the reservoirs levels released by Irsa are as follows; inflow in Indus at Tarbela were 25500 cusecs and outflows 25500 cusecs, inflows in Kabul at Nowshera were 24300 cusecs and outflows 24300 cusecs, inflows in Jhelum at Mangla were 13800 cusecs and outflows 15000 cusecs, while inflow in Chenab at Marala were 6600 cusecs and while outflows are 2000 cusecs.

Against the minimum operating level of 1386 feet Tarbela present level is 1386 feet. The maximum conservation level of the reservoir is 1550 feet.

Similarly in Mangla against the minimum operating level of 1040 feet the present level 1050 feet. The maximum conservation level of Mangla is 1242 feet.

Chashma reservoir against the minimum operating level of 638.15 feet the present level was 638.15 feet.

The maximum conservation level of Chashma is 649 feet.