Dry run: Water shortage to hit winter crop sowing

Published: November 2, 2016

ISLAMABAD: November will be a crucial month in terms of water distribution and management for sowing winter crops owing to the ongoing dry spell which has resulted in acute water shortage in the country.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) chief Dr Ghulam Rasul told The Express Tribune that Pakistan has received below average showers during monsoon this year.

“Pakistan usually receives heavy downpour in September filling up the water reservoirs to their maximum capacity which is later used for sowing winter crops in November,” he said.

This year, however, the situation is different and getting sufficient amount of water for sowing crops will be an issue for both Sindh and Punjab, he Rasul added.

“With the expected below normal precipitation in November and December, which coincides with sowing season of Rabi crops, Pakistan will most likely go through water shortage.  Therefore, Indus River System Authority and irrigation departments are suggested for judicious use of water,” he said.

The met office has predicted below average rainfall during the entire winter season which will further extend the ongoing dry spell across the country. Less frequent snowfall events are expected in Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

“The situation could be alarming due to the ongoing dry spell and chances are that there will be a drought like situation in the country,” he said.

Dense fog is expected in plain areas of Punjab and K-P from December 2016, according to the Met office.

Dr Rasul said that the dry season will have an adverse impact on the health of the people. “It is expected that dry season will cause an increase in the cases of chest infections, seasonal flu, and pneumonia among others,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2016.

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