Pakistan Agriculture News, Water

Rabi crop likely to face 45pc water shortage

ISLAMABAD/karachi – The Rabi season’s crops are likely to face about 45 percent water shortage and Indus River System Authority (IRSA) had asked the provincial governments to make comprehensive strategy to avoid major losses to upcoming crops.

“As per preliminary analysis of data, it is anticipated that the deficit may result in 35-45pc shortfall during the forthcoming Rabi season 2018-19”, an Indus River System Authority (IRSA) source said.

The Rabi season begins in October-December and ends in April-May. Wheat is the largest crop in Rabi season. Gram, lentil, tobacco, rapeseed, barley and mustard are some of the other crops.

The official of the authority said that Tarbela Dam had now achieved maximum conservation level of 1,150 feet and prevailing temperatures in the catchment areas currently show that the drawdown for irrigation during the current Kharif season would mostly remain contained.

The total storage in reservoirs currently stood at about 9.255 million acre feet (MAF), 32.4pc short of its total capacity, which is 13.681 MAF.

The reserve last year at this stage was 12.08 MAF, almost 24pc lower.

The official of Water Resources Ministry said that the country was losing almost 50pc of its total water availability. He said that the country can store water for a maximum of 35-36 days which is way less than the rest of the world. Many countries can hold their reserves for 130 days. He said that India’s storage could last for about 320 days.

“With construction of Mohmand and Diamer Basha dams, water storage capacity of the country will increase from 37 days to 56 days,” he added. He said that the ministry had proposed construction of big, medium and small dams to meet the water and energy shortages.