ISLAMABAD - The country’s live water storage capacity has dropped 29 per cent, adversely impacting the sectors of agriculture and power.
According to the official, Tarbela dam has lost 32 per cent water storage capacity, as its original live water storage is 9.69 MAF. It’s present live water storage is 6.56 MAF and original capacity of 5.34 MAF that at present is around 4.41 MAF, with 18% loss of water storage capacity (for it).
He informed that Chashma Dam had lost its full capacity and present live storage of the dam was 0.26 MAF from 0.72 MAF and water storage capacity loss of the dam was 64%.
The official said various studies had been carried out to sort out the feasibility of flushing/evacuating the sediments from reservoirs to restore its lost live storage.
The government has taken certain initiatives to raise Mangla Dam by 30-ft from 1,234 ft to 1,264 ft SPD to enhance its useful life, while live storage of the dam has been increased by 2.9 MAF.
The official said that efforts were being made during flood season to flush out the sediments by operating the under sluice gates to increase the reservoirs capacity.
He further said that the alarming drop in water level had led to a serious shortfall in hydel power and also leaving bad impacts on agricultural lands of the Punjab and Sindh that mostly depended on canal water irrigation because in some areas underground water was brackish.
If the situation lingers on, the energy crisis would deepen as soon as the water level further went down in Mangla and Tarbela, added the official.