Rivers swell from glacier melting

Dam reservoirs holding water storage of 4.9 million acre-feet

Our Correspondent May 23, 2024


The rising temperatures in Pakistan's northern mountainous regions are causing an increased rate of glacier melting, according to the Indus River System Authority (IRSA).

The melting of the glaciers has significantly boosted water flow in the country's rivers, with the current total flow reaching 284,000 cusecs. Meanwhile, the country’s dam reservoirs are holding a combined water storage of 4.9 million acre-feet, IRSA reported.

Specifically, the water inflow at Tarbela Dam on the Indus River is recorded at 100,000 cusecs. The Jhelum River, feeding into Mangla Dam, is seeing an inflow of 590,000 cusecs, with the dam's storage capacity currently at 2.8 million acre-feet.

The flow of water at Nowshera in the Kabul River is 83,000 cusecs, while the Chenab River at Marala has an inflow of 40,000 cusecs.

Read Glacier melting triggers flood alert in K-P

At the Chashma Barrage, the water flow is 181,000 cusecs, and the Taunsa Barrage sees an inflow of 138,000 cusecs. The inflow at Guddu Barrage is 77,000 cusecs, and the Sukkur Barrage has a flow of 65,000 cusecs.

The figures highlight the substantial impact of glacial melt on Pakistan’s river systems, raising concerns about water management and potential flooding in downstream areas. A day ago, residents of Gilgit-Baltistan were warned about potential Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) and flash floods this week.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department issued an alert on Monday, indicating that daytime temperatures in G-B and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are expected to be four to six degrees Celsius higher than normal between May 21 and 27, accompanied by wind and thunderstorms.

The atmospheric condition is likely to trigger GLOF events or flash floods in vulnerable snow-covered and glaciated areas of Gilgit-Baltistan and the Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


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