Dry spell causes water shortage in twin cities

Lack of rain drying up supply in reservoirs, rainfall not expected soon

Our Correspondent November 21, 2021
People filling water bottles from a pumping station in Baldia Town due to the acute water shortage in the city. PHOTO: FILE


A dry spell that has been gripping the twin cities for the past six weeks is gradually giving way to a dreaded water crisis in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

The water levels in reservoirs such as Simli Dam and Khanpur Dam have been decreasing continuously, due to which the supply from Simli Dam has been reduced considerably.

The residents of Rawalpindi, who usually receive 34 million gallons of water daily from Simli Dam, now have to deal with a drastic shortage as their supply has dwindled to 17 million gallons.

The water level in Khanpur Dam is also touching alarming levels, and supply from this reservoir to Islamabad and Rawalpindi would also be affected if it does not rain heavily in the next two weeks.

On the other hand, Rawal Dam, the largest source of water supply in the twin cities, is still holding a good amount of water in storage courtesy of the reduced but regular replenishment of water in its catchment areas.

In contrast, the catchment areas of Simli Dam and Khanpur Dam present a barren picture these days and are in desperate need of a good rainfall.

However, according to the meteorological department, there are no signs of rain in the next 10 to 15 days in the area. The weather is expected to remain dry in the coming two weeks, with clouds occasionally rolling across the sky without pouring heavy rains.

Rawalpindi Development Authority Vice-Chairman Haroon Kamal Hashmi has said that there was no immediate threat of water crisis in Rawalpindi so far and that rain in mid-December will improve the condition of the dams.

Meanwhile, the water department of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has confirmed the reduction of water supply from Simli Dam, with the civic agency’s water department citing the leaking water pipes in the Bari Imam area as the reason for the loss of water.

Hazara division awaits rains

Dry weather in upper parts of Hazara division has resulted in a drought that is affecting the standing crops and creating a shortage of clean drinking water.

Farmers have expressed their concerns over the potential losses they will face because of the continuous dry conditions.

During the last one month, no major rain has been reported in the region and is unlikely to occur in the next few days.

with additional input from app

Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2021.


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