Sindh, Punjab to face 20 per cent water shortage in Rabi season: IRSA

ISLAMABAD: Indus River System Authority (IRSA) Friday said Sindh and Punjab provinces would likely to face 20 per cent water shortage in the coming Rabi season (October-March).

The IRSA Advisory Committee which met here with its chairman Syed Mazhar Ali Shah in chair reviewed water availability and share of the provinces for the Rabi season, allocation of water for Kachhi canal, implementation of new rating table for Patfeeder and Kirther Canal and Chashma closure for 15 days.

The committee said that a total 29.48 million acre feet (MAF) water would be available in Rabi season for the provinces.

Giving the breakup of water share, it was said that Punjab would get 15.72 MAF, Sindh 11.86 MAF, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 0.70 MAF and Balochistan 1.20 MAF for Rabi.

However, no cut would be made in water share of KPK and Balochistan. The authority estimated water loss of 2.24 MAF during the season.

IRSA also did not accept the WAPDA request to enhance dead level of Tarbela dam from 1380 feet to 1386 feet and Mangla dam from 1040 feet to 1062 feet, said IRSA spokesman Khalid Rana.

The WAPDA had requested to raise the dead levels of both reservoirs due to silting and sedimentation. However, the WAPDA was asked to carry out further studies in this regard.

IRSA and other all provinces stressed the need for setting up more water reservoirs on war footing to enhance water storage capacity as capacity of Tarbela and Mangla was depleting due to silting and sedimentation.

The Authority also approved 0.181 MAF water for Kachhi Canal and implementation of new rating tables for Petfeeder and Kirther Canal. The WAPDA request for closure of Chashma for 15 days was also approved, the spokesman said.

Provincial members of the authority, GM Water Tarbela and Mangla and provincial irrigation departments and other officials also attended the meeting.

The Water Accord 1991 empowered IRSA to determine water availability in the country and provincial share twice a year, once for Kharif season and the other for Rabi season. Rabi season starts from October 1, while Kharif from April 1.

Meanwhile, IRSA on Friday released 169,900 cusecs water from various rim stations with inflow of 93,000 cusecs.

According to the data released by IRSA, water level in the Indus River at Tarbela Dam was 1501.27 feet, which was 121.27 feet higher than its dead level 1380 feet.

Water inflow in the dam was recorded as 57,700 cusecs while outflow 90,000 cusecs.

The water level in the Jhelum River at Mangla Dam was 1204.90 feet, which was 164.90 feet higher than its dead level of 1040 feet whereas the inflow and outflow of water was recorded as 10,400 cusecs and 55,000 cusecs respectively.

The release of water at Kalabagh, Taunsa and Sukkur was recorded as 85,800, 75,200 and 12,800 cusecs respectively.

Similarly, from the Kabul River, a total of 6,600 cusecs of water was released at Nowshera and 4,000 cusecs released from the Chenab River at Marala.