ISLAMABAD: The water levels at two major reservoirs of the country are reaching their lowest points in a decade while ‘good showers’ are not expected during the next two weeks to improve these levels.
Since March 10, both the reservoirs – Mangla Dam and Tarbela Dam – have been operating at the dead level. Experts believe that the current water levels in the reservoirs are likely to trigger a slight increase in load shedding across the country and may also have an impact on the early Kharif crop.
According to an analysis of the nine-year data, in the year 2017 the water level in Mangla Dam as on March 17 was recorded 1,049 feet which in 2008 was recorded 1,050 feet. Meanwhile in Tarbela Dam, the water level in 2008 was recorded 1,369 feet and currently it is 1,380 feet.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) chief Dr Ghulam Rasul said, “Good showers – that could help increase water levels in the two major reservoirs – are not expected during the next two weeks.”
Commenting on the current water situation in the dams, he said in the past such situation arose in the country especially when it experienced a prolonged drought-like situation in 2008.
Meanwhile, the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has convened its advisory committee meeting on March 31 to discuss issues pertaining to water availability and distribution for the upcoming Kharif season which starts from April 1.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Irsa spokesman Khalid Rana said the meeting is going to be chaired by the Irsa chairman and will be attended by the high officials of Wapda, provincial irrigation department, the Federal Flood Commission and others.
To a question about the current water situation in the reservoirs and its impact on the early Kharif crop, he said, “It is a bit early to comment on this and saying something a bit earlier could create panic among the farmers.” He said from March 20 onward Irsa will start analysing the situation.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2017.