‘Pakistan has enough water for winter’
ISLAMABAD: Recent rains and snow would ensure that there is enough water for the winter farming season, though the situation would worsen before it improves as the current cold spell is expected to intensify in the
This was stated by Dr Ghulam Rasul, vice president of Asia-Pacific Region of World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), while talking to The Express Tribune on Monday.
“Pakistan continues to bear the brunt of climate change effects due to which the winter season is now shrinking, the spring season is squeezing and the summer season is prolonging,” Dr Rasul said.
Dr Rasul, who is also Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) director general, said that due to ongoing global warming effects, the winter season in the country was likely to continue till the middle of February.
Talking about the prevailing cold spell across the country, he said the met department expected the temperature to drop further in the coming days.
“Two light-to-moderate spells of rain are also expected this month, one in the middle and the other at the end of January,” he said.
Meanwhile, further rainfall was expected in the northern areas and in some parts of Balochistan, he said.
Dr Rasul also warned of a more sudden change in climate later in the year, suggesting that there will only be a brief spring before the onset of an unusually early summer.
“Due to prolonged summers, Pakistan will become more vulnerable to intense heat wave events and urban areas will be at high risk,” he said, adding that the spring season will soon be eliminated.
Furthermore, the shrinking of winter and extension in summer will have a direct impact on the availability and use of water in the country, he said.
“In the summers, the need for water, both for crops and for domestic use, rises automatically, therefore the longer the season lasts, the more water required to fulfill needs,” he said.
“This, no doubt, would worsen water issues in the country,” he said.
The change in the climate cycle would likely have an impact on the crop calendar, he said.
Enough water for winter crops
Talking about the recent showers in the country, Dr Rasul said that it had brought little improvement in the water level in the reservoirs.
“Now Pakistan has enough water for the winter crops,” he said.
However, the water flow situation will not immediately improve as the expected drop in temperatures would mean that water upstream would freeze, while the process of glaciers melting would also have slowed. In this regard, Dr Rasul said that he expected water inflow in Tarbela Dam to fall further.
Tarbela’s water level on Monday was recorded at 1,425 feet. The dead level in the dam is 1,380. At Mangla Dam, the water level was 1,100 feet, compared to a dead level of 1,040 feet.