Mangla, Tarbela dams hit dead level after 15 years

Situation is alarming as drop in rainfall is expected, posing threat to agriculture


Sehrish Wasif March 23, 2018
Situation is alarming as drop in rainfall is expected, posing threat to agriculture

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s major water reservoirs are at a dead level after 15 years, according to the Indus River System Authority (IRSA). The experts claim that availability of water in the country is decreasing at an alarming rate with its demand increasing at the same pace.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted that chances are high that rainfall will remain below than normal in April and May and temperatures are likely to increase one to two degree than usual.

According to the PMD website, the current level of water at Mangala Dam is 1,050 feet and its dead level is the same. The inflow of water from the dam, was recorded 12,225 cusecs and outflow at 13,401 cusecs, which has been the lowest ever recorded since 2009. Similarly, Tarbela dam current water level and dead level is 1,386 feet, which is lowest since 2009. The inflow and outflow of water is 16,500 cusecs, which is also lowest since 2009.

IRSA spokesperson told The Express Tribune that both the major water reservoirs of the country, Terbela dam and Mangla dam are at dead level since February 22 this year and will continue to remain like this.

Tarbela reaches dead level

“Pakistan is facing such a situation after 15 years and it is expected that it will be further prolonged till mid of June,” he said and added that Pakistan had received  below average snowfall  in catchment areas this year, therefore it seems like that even snow melting process will also not help much to improve the alarming situation.

The spokesperson said that water shortage has direct impact on agriculture of the country and a slight shortage causes major losses. He added that IRSA has anticipated 40 percent water shortage in the early Kahrif season and the impact of global warming is having an adverse impact on Pakistan

“Unfortunately Pakistan is not ready to deal with the grave impact of climate change despite the situation turning to worse with each passing day. The best option to avoid its negative impact is to have more and more dams,” he said.

“It is expected that Pakistan may receive below average showers in April and May and high temperatures than normal. In May water demand will gradually increase with rise in the temperature,” Chief Met Office, Dr Ghulam Rasul told The Express Tribune.

He said that glacier melting starts in April but its water flows only in Terbela dam. “Though under the impact of climate change, Pakistan could receive a heavy shower, which could improve water situation in the reservoirs as such ‘unexpected or unusual’ weather events are occurring frequently,” he added.

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