Pakistan Agriculture News, Water

Sindh irrigation dept misreporting water losses

ISLAMABAD – Sindh irrigation department is misreporting the water losses and has reported a huge loss of 124700 cusecs in just nine days of the current month, it was learnt reliably here Wednesday.

Irsa has showed serious concern over the excessive losses of up to 43 percent in some sections of Taunsa Guddu area, being reported by Sindh irrigation department, and has warned that it may cause unrest between the provinces, official documents available with The Nation revealed.

Sindh irrigation department is showing excessive loss to pressurise the water regulatory body and the federal government for extra favour, an official of the Irsa said on the condition of the anonymity.

There are some water loses all over the country as forecasted by the Irsa’s advisory committee but showing such a huge loss, in the water supplies to non perennial/rice cultivated canals of Sindh and Balochistan, is because of misreporting of the Sindh government, the official said. In the first 9 days of the current month (May 1 to 9), the Sindh government has reported a cumulative loss of 124700 cusecs water from Taunsa to Kotri Barrage which is abnormal. On one single day of May 9, the losses were 16400 cusecs, the official said.

To control the situation, Irsa has written a letter to Sindh Irrigation department and has expressed serious concern over the excessive losses being reported. There are three sections – Taunsa-Guddu, Guddu-Sukkur and Sukkur-Kotri – with the highest losses of up to 43 percent in Sukkur-Kotri section.

As per the letter, on May 1st, total water losses reported were 13500 cusecs with 5100 cusecs (-13%) at Taunsa-Guddu, 5200(-16%) Guddu-Sukkur and 3200 (-41%) Sukkur-Kotri. On May 2nd, the total losses reported were 12200 cusecs which includes 4800 cusecs (13%) losses on Taunsa-Guddu, 4200 (13%) on Guddu-Sukkur and 3200 cusecs (41%) on Sukkur-Kotri section. On May 3rd, losses of 12800 cusecs were reported which includes 6200 cusecs (16%) losses on Taunsa-Guddu, 3500 cusecs(11%) on Guddu-Sukkur and 3100 (39%) on Sukkur-Kotri section. On May 4th, total losses of 11800 cusecs were reported which includes 4500 cusecs (11%) on Taunsa-Guddu, 3800 cusecs (11%) on Guddu-Sukkur and 3500 cusecs (42%) on Sukkur-Kotri. On May 5, total losses were 9100 cusecs which include 3500 cusecs (-9%) on Taunsa-Guddu, 1900 cusecs (6%) on Guddu-Sukkur and 3700 cusecs (43%) on Sukkur-Kotri section.

On May 6, the total losses were 15500 cusecs which include 7700 (18%) on Taunsa-Guddu, 4600 (13%) on Guddu-Sukkur and 3200 (37%) on Sukkur-Kotri section. On May 7, the total losses reported by Sindh irrigation department were 16400 cusecs which include 8700 (20%) cusecs on Taunsa-Guddu, 4000 (12%) on Guddu-Sukkur and 3700 cusecs (40%) on Sukkur-Kotri section. On May 8, the total losses reported were 17000 cusecs which include 9300 cusecs (21%) on Taunsa-Guddu, 4000 cusecs (12%) on Guddu-Sukkur and 3700 cusecs (40%) on Sukkur-Kotri. On May 9, the total losses reported by Sindh irrigation department were 16400 cusecs which include 9300 (21%) cusecs on Taunsa-Guddu, 3500 cusecs (10%) on Guddu-Sukkur and 3600 cusecs (39%) on Sukkur-Kotri section.

Irsa requested that better management techniques may be adopted while regulating the waters between the barrages/canals as well as comprehensive report in this regard may be forwarded to Irsa on immediate basis, the letter said.

The letter said in prevailing situation provincial indents of Punjab and Sindh could not be fulfilled. However, Irsa is equally distributing shortages between Punjab and Sindh provinces according to the available resources.

Regarding operation of CJ/TP link channels, Irsa said that it is doing integrated use of Indus Basis Water availability keeping in view the storage position in the reservoirs without compromising the rightful share of any of the shareholder(s) within the parameters of 14(d) of the water apportionment accord 1991.

Meanwhile, Punjab irrigation department has also written a letter to Irsa and said that during the meeting of the Senate special committee on water scarcity, Sindh emphasised that there was acute shortage of water in the off taking canals from Kotri Barrage. As such, Sindh desired that Punjab should spare some water out of its share at least for a period of 10 days to reduce these shortages.

In view of above position, the regulation being carried out by Sindh at barrages has been reviewed. There are excessive transit losses from Taunsa to Kotri Barrage.

It was further noted that the above noted losses are more than that contemplated during the Irsa’s advisory committee meeting. Punjab has requested that this activity may please be undertaken at the earliest so as to assess the actual transit losses and improve the availability at these barrages.

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