Irsa forecast 18pc water shortage for Kharif -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Irsa forecast 18pc water shortage for Kharif

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD –  Indus River System Authority (IRSA) advisory committee on Friday forecast 18 per cent water shortage for the upcoming early Kharif season.

The advisory committee further forecast that in the late Kharif season the shortage will come to zero, said Director Operations and Spokesman IRSA, Khalid Rana, while briefing newsmen about decision made by the advisory committee meeting on Friday.

The meeting of the advisory committee was held here and was presided over by Irsa Chairman Mazhar Ali Shah and was attended by Irsa members, officials of the provincial irrigation departments, the Wapda, Director-General Meteorological Department.

27.63 million Acre Feet (MAF) water will be available in the early Kharif Season, while 82.37 MAF will be available in the late Kharif, Rana said.

The IRSA Technical Committee meeting, held earlier this week, forecast around 35 per cent shortage for the early Kharif season, however the water situation in the rivers and the reservoirs have considerably improved since then.

The water level earlier this week in Tarbela reservoir was 1,380 ft, which is the dead level of the reservoir, however now it has reached 1,387 ft.

The Water Accord 1991 empowered the 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 1st, while Kharif starts from April 1st.

Since Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa were exempted from cuts in the share, the shortage in water would be distributed between Sindh and the Punjab.

He said that Punjab would get 33.23 MAF, Sindh 30.39 MAF, Balochistan 2.6 MAF and KP would get 0.82 MAF water.

He said that in Rabi Punjab received 15.1 MAF, while Sindh received 11.56 MAF water.

Water inflows was reduced during the last two weeks of March, however DG Metrological Department  has predicted a short spell of rain and hot weather in April, which will help melting the glaciers and would increase the flow in rivers, he said.

He said that it was predicted that in Kharif season 110 MAF water would be available in the Rim-stations and there would be 27.63 MAF water available in the early Karif season, while in the late Kharif 82.37 MAF water would be available in late season.

Early Kharif starts from April 1st and continue till June 10th.

A total of 67 MAF water will be reserved during Kharif season, which would be distributed among the provinces.

From today (Friday) the provinces will start getting water as per intend, he said.

Punjab was allowed to open Panjnad and Trimmu canal from today (Friday). From tomorrow Punjab will get water from downstream Chasma, he said.

He said that in the technical committee it was forecast that there would be 40 per cent losses in Indus river during Kharif.

However Punjab has termed the 40 percent losses high and it was downward revised, with mutual consensus, to 35 per cent, Rana added.

When asked that previously it was forecasted that the losses would be 35 per cent during Kharif season but now it was downward revised to 18 per cent, Khalid Rana replied that with better management and increased flows in the rivers it was revised downward.

He said that the Wapda had proposed that the dead level of Tarbela be increased from 1,380 to 1,384 feet.

However, the WAPDA was asked to provide logic for their demand.

Earlier, Sindh has decided to close its Guddu and Sukkur canal from April 1st.

However, now it has promised to keep it open till April 5 to provide Balochistan share of water, he said.

Earlier, Balochistan has problems in getting water from Kheer Thar Canal, however now they are facing issues in Pat feeder canal, he added.

The Nation