Water Crisis, IRSA demands two mega dams

The Advisory Committee of Indus River System Authority (Irsa) recommended building of at least two mega dams to cope with the growing water crisis which poses a serious threat to crop output.

The IRSA body which met with Sher Zaman Khan in the chair on also projected 31 percent water shortage in early Kharif sowing season posing a serious threat for Kharif crops due to higher losses and less water inflows into rivers. Punjab and Sindh would face 31 percent water shortage whereas Balochistan and KPK have been exempted from water shortage during Kharif crop season.

Punjab was estimated to face 35 percent, Sindh 34 percent, KPK 26 percent and Balochistan 7 percent shortage during the entire Rabbi season.

Wapda will propose to Irsa to further raise the minimum operating level of Mangla from 1,050 to 1,060 feet in the next fortnight.

According to Irsa spokesperson, it was informed that Pakistan was facing water crisis like situation and there should be more dams to avoid crisis in future. All provinces including Sindh endorsed the proposal of building more dams.

Irsa Advisory Committee meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chairman Irsa and attended by representatives of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and representatives of all provinces. It was anticipated during the meeting that river inflows would remain at 95.12 MAF during Kharif season which stood at 107 MAF last year: with 22.58 MAF available in early Kharif and 72.54 MAF in late Kharif crops.

However, total available water for Kharif crops would stand at 68 MAF as 13.48 in early Kharif and 54.52 MAF in late Kharif.

It was revealed during the meeting that water losses on Indus would stand at 17.36 percent during Kharif season.

Total water available for Kharif crops has been estimated at 62.02 MAF with the share of Punjab projected at 30.24 MAF, Sindh 27.96 MAF, Balochistan 2.99 MAF and KPK 0.823 MAF. In early Kharif, 13.764 MAF would be available and 48.256 MAF in late Kharif season.

During the meeting, the water available for Rabi crops from October 1, 2017 to March 29, 2018 came under discussion. It was noted that total water shortage had been anticipated at 33 percent during ongoing Rabi corps. The total water availability was estimated at 36.17 MAF however 24.06 MAF was projected during the Rabi crops.—MUSHTAQ GHUMMAN