ISLAMABAD: The Indus River System Authority (IRSA) has warned that the water level in the country’s major reservoirs is alarmingly low and could reach the dead level by March 10.
Speaking to The Express Tribune on Saturday, Irsa spokesperson Khalid Rana said the current water situation has arisen after three to four years in Pakistan mainly because of last year’s drought which continued for four months.
Sharing details, he said the current water level in Tarbela Dam was recorded at 1,400 feet and in Mangla Dam at 1,079 feet. However, the dead level for Tarbela Dam is 1,380 feet and for Mangla Dam 1,040 feet, he said.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted light to moderate showers next week but it will not help increase the water level in the major water reservoirs.
He said the PMD has predicted a few spells of showers starting from Tuesday.
“We are hoping ‘ good rain’ would help increase the water level in these reservoirs otherwise it is feared that the water shortage would not only affect the early sowing period of Kharif crop which may affect its production by 50 per cent to 60 per cent, but would also cause shortage of drinking water across the country,” he said.
Rana said that hopefully in April snow will start melting if temperature will increase to that extent which will ultimately help increase the water level in the reservoirs.
Considering the current water levels in the reservoirs, Sindh has reduced its water demand from 45,000 cusecs to 40,000 cusecs, Punjab from 57,000 cusecs to 50,000 cusecs for the next 10 days, meanwhile Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has asked for 3,000 cusecs and Balochistan 4,000 cusecs, he said.
PMD Director General Dr Ghulam Rasul said, “Light to moderate rain is expected in north Punjab, upper K-P, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir, but will not help increase the water level in the reservoirs.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2017.