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Sunday June 16, 2024

Country may face 22-30pc water deficit in Kharif 2022

By Khalid Mustafa
March 31, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is going to face water shortage of 22-30 percent in Kharif season 2022 that will start from April 1 and end by September 30.

This has been worked out by Indus River System Authority (IRSA) technical committee with director operations of IRSA in the chair. The body consisted of director regulations of the four provinces that met on March 25, a senior official of Punjab Irrigation Department told The News.

However, the advisory committee would meet again today (Thursday) with IRSA chairman in the chair, with representatives from all provinces and WAPDA to deliberate further on water availability projections worked out by the technical committee. Later, it would finalise the water shortages in early and later Kharif, IRSA official told this scribe.

Another source in IRSA said that the committee might give a different projection of 22-25 percent.

In the ongoing Rabi season that is to end today (March 31, 2022), the country faced almost 28 percent water shortage.

It was worth noting that in early Kharif, 2022, Pakistan would have 28-29 million acres feet (MAF) of water. And in the later part of the sowing season, the country was projected to have water availability of 75-80 MAF in its system.

Sindh, the lower riparian province of the country at present needs water for sowing cotton in the vicinity of Nara canal. Sindh also needs water for sowing sunflower crops as well as for mango orchards. Right now the indent of Sindh stands at 40,000 cusecs per day, but the province is being provided 29,000 cusecs per day with a shortage of 34 percent.

As of March 30, 2022, temperatures have started rising, but the worrying part was that water flows were not being improved. Tarbela Dam and Chashma barrage are still on the river since February 24, 2022 and Mangla has just 0.379 MAF water in its reservoir.

Water inflows and outflows in Indus at Tarbela stand at 22,000 cusecs and in Kabul river water flows stand at 6,900 cusecs. From Mangla, outflows stand at 40,000 cusecs per day, but inflows are at 32,100 cusecs.

However, total inflows in the system stand at 74,900 cusecs and outflows 82,000 cusecs, the data reveals.