Reduced river inflows: IRSA may cut Sindh, Punjab’s water share

Published: July 17, 2011
Colder weather slows melting of glaciers, final decision to be taken on July 21. PHOTO: FILE

Colder weather slows melting of glaciers, final decision to be taken on July 21. PHOTO: FILE


A drop in temperature in the northern areas of the country has led to reduced water inflows in rivers and low water levels in major reservoirs, prompting the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) to possibly cut Punjab and Sindh’s water shares by up to 20%.

The body is expected to face strong resistance from the affected provinces.

A final decision in this regard is expected at Irsa’s special advisory committee meeting on July 21, chaired by Irsa chief Rao Irshad Ali and attended by provincial members of the body and irrigation secretaries of all four provinces.

Sources say Irsa’s only option is to slash the provinces’ water share since water stored in major reservoirs including Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma is 7% lower than the same period last year.

The three dams have a combined storage capacity of 12.1 million acre feet (MAF), but currently only hold about 5.4 MAF, according to data released on Saturday.

The authority may cut Sindh and Punjab’s shares by 11,000 and 5,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) respectively if a consensus is arrived at the advisory committee meeting.

After the reduction, Sindh is expected to receive 169,000 cusecs of water against its existing share of 180,000 cusecs, while Punjab would receive a reduced share of 113,000 cusecs of water against 118,000 cusecs.

There would be no cuts in shares of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and they would receive 13,000 cusecs and 3,000 cusecs, respectively.

However, the shortage is expected to be temporary. A senior official of the Pakistan Meteorological Department said that 200 millimetres of rainfall was expected in upper catchment areas of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa that could ease the water shortage in major reservoirs.

The forecasted 10% more scattered rain in catchment areas could help fill the reservoirs to their maximum capacity by mid-August, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (4)

    Jul 17, 2011 - 10:19AM

    Sindh & Pukhtoon Khwa are responsible for Shortage of Electricity and water in Pakistan.
    Disease of Provincialism in Politicians of Pukhtoon Khwa and Sindh is mainly responsible for power shortage mayhem and the resultant chaos in the society due to tormenting blackouts and long power outrages.
    Importance of Electricity Versus Wastage of Water for Feudals.
    Why opposition on generation of electricity by Kalabagh Dam in which no water is wasted but provide option of safe storage of water for future use. Electricity is the need of each and every minute and moment of human life, people can not tolerate outage of electricity for one hour while agriculture land can tolerate need of water even many weeks, but why importance to agriculture of few feudals and no importance to electricity which is the need of each and every citizens
    • Children weeps in the night due to high temperature and mosquitoes bite due to outage of electricity,
    • Students can not study in night due to outage of electricity.
    • Industry can not run without electricity.
    • Machinery can not run without electricity.
    • Surgeons can not operate without electricity.
    • A patient on life machine can not survive without electricity.
    • Even in agriculture can not use Tubewell without electricity.
    • Fertilizer can not be manufactured without electricity.
    • Pesticide can not be manufactured without electricity.
    • Sugar Mills,Cotton Mills,Flour Mills,Rice Mills can not run without electricity.
    Above points clearly indicates that use of water for generation of electricity is 1000 times better than wastage of water on land or in sea for few feudals, because water wasted in land or sea is not recoverable but water use for generation of electricity in Kalabagh Dam will be available for use for agriculture and Industry as it was suitable before generation of electricity and there will be no wastage of water.

    Sindh,Balochistan and Frontier are against Kalabagh Dam.

    Because as per Sindh LOGIC Thar Coal is better than Kalabagh as Kalabagh will emmit BLACK SMOKE and Thar Coal will emmit fresh air full of Oxygen.
    And as per Balouchistan Vision GAS and coal extracted from Balouchistan are one of the most clean source of energy and Kalabagh will pollute air and land resouces and people will drown in Kalabagh and no one is dying in the coal caves of Balochistan.
    And as per Frontier wisdom Royalty of Tarballa is so important that Pakistan can be broken for that but Kalabgh dam is not good looking as it is in Punjab.
    All provinces want Provincial autonomy but Punjab should open or close its canals , IIRIGATE ITS LAND AND construct Dams as per desire of other provinces and after asking from
    other provinces Because it is necessary for unity and prosperity of Pakistan as when there will be no agriculture,no electricity and no water then Pakistan will be more united and more prosperous.
    From all above points it is clear that PUKHTOON KHWA and Sindh who are opposing the generation of electricity and preservation and safe storage of water in Kalabagh dam are criminals of humanity as well as of World.

    Written By:
    M.Akram Khan Niazi.


  • H.A. Khan
    Jul 17, 2011 - 10:27AM

    A 21 KM long lake has developed upland from Attabad due to landslide. This lake is holding back a lot of water.

    Why not use large diameter pipes and let the water flow over it due to hydraulic pressure.

    WAPDA should think about it……………………..


  • Muhammad Luqman
    Jul 17, 2011 - 5:59PM

    It is not good to attribute your failures to anybody. Instead we should think of ways to improve water and power resources in the country.


  • Jul 17, 2011 - 10:29PM

    what about india?


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