Irrigation water shortage in Pakistan rises to 45 per cent, IRSA tells provinces to plan water utilization

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 26 (ANI): Pakistan’s Indus River System Authority (IRSA) urged the Pakistan provincial governments to plan the utilization of water and use it efficiently as the irrigation water shortage in the country surged close to 45 per cent on Tuesday.

“Plan in advance the utilization of available supplies in the river system efficiently, cautiously and judiciously during the dip”, IRSA stated in a joint letter.
It also asked the provincial irrigation secretaries to place estimated rationalized indents (water requirement order by provinces) without any wastage till the water situation improves in the first half of June, the Dawn newspaper reported.

“Currently 40-45 per cent shortage is being distributed among Punjab and Sindh at the rim-stations, resultantly a massive dip is likely to hit the Indus Basin Irrigation System with a lag time of about five to 15 days to the provinces due to zero storage in the reservoirs,” reported the Dawn, quoting IRSA.

It said in the letter that as a result of the water shortage, the authority is providing Punjab with 65,000 cusec water against its current share of 113,000 cusecs. It is providing 66,000 cusecs water to Sindh against its share of 116,000 cusecs further adding, “Exempted from application of shortages, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are being supplied their full share of 13,000 cusecs and 3,000 cusecs, respectively.”

The IRSA officials said that the Jhelum and Chenab rivers flow were 45 per cent lower than this year’s estimate, that caused the major challenge. The river Jhelum flows at Mangla were currently at 27,000 cusecs against last year’s flows of 55,000 cusecs, while the flows in Chenab were at 24,000 cusecs against last year’s 38,000 cusecs, the Dawn reported.

On Tuesday, the total inflows at rim-stations were recorded at 144,800 cusecs against 156,600 cusecs reported a day earlier and 10-year average of 230,400 cusecs. Irsa said this clearly depicted that the system had entered yet another dip as expected and intimated on May 20.

Considering the situation, the National Assembly standing committee on water resources has sought a report from the committee constituted to inspect barrages and monitor water discharges at Taunsa, Punjnad, Guddu and Sukkur barrages and related canals to address provincial grievances about water shares. (ANI)



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