ISLAMABAD-For the first time in country’s history, all the three major reservoirs, Mangla, Tarbella and Chasma, have filled to their maximum conservation levels of 13.443 Million Acre Feet (MAF) on the same day.
The three major water reservoirs of Pakistan Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma stood filled to maximum conservation levels (MCLs) on the same date on August 17, 2023 with a total impoundment of 13.443 MAF, IRSA Spokesman Khalid Rana said and added that the filling of all the three major storages on the same date is a historical event. Mangla Dam, the largest water reservoir in terms of water storage in the country, Tarbela and Chashma reservoirs have filled to its maximum conservation level. Mangla Dam, the largest water reservoir in terms of water storage in the country, has filled to its maximum conservation level of 1242 feet after three years as for the last time the reservoir had attained its maximum level in 2020. At present, 7.356 million acre feet (MAF) water is available in Mangla reservoir.
Tarbella had reached its peak level of 1550 feet last week, however its gone down to 1549 feet within 24 hours, and now it has again attained its maximum level. Chashma has also filled to maximum level of 649 feet. The filling of all three reservoirs has resulted in the maximum availability of water in the dams, which is being regarded a good omen for agriculture and hydel power generation in Pakistan in the days to come, said IRSA.
As per details, the water storage at Tarbela Dam is 5.809 MAF and Chashma is 0.278 MAF. The cumulative quantum of water available at present in Mangla, Tarbela and Chashma reservoirs stands at 13.443 MAF. According to the statistics, water level in Tarbela is 1550 feet and Chashma 649 feet above mean sea level.
Khalid Rana said that filling of the reservoirs was a very important parameter of system operations as it controlled and stored excess /flood flows during Kharif for inter-seasonal transfer to low flow Rabi/winter season to meet-with the provincial demands.
The precarious operation of reservoirs filling was achieved by IRSA amid numerous natural and technical challenges in the form of impending hydrological uncertainty due to climate change and the current system and reservoir constraints. It was feared that very low early Kharif flows of 2023 may also suppress late Kharif flows, correspondingly, the spokesman said. Fortunately, widespread rains in upper and lower catchments of all the Rim-Stations during Late Kharif 2023, especially the Eastern Rivers, allowed IRSA to efficiently manage and regulate the provincial releases with integrated operation and filling of the reservoirs.
While talking to The Nation, Khalid Rana said that prior to 2020, the three reservoirs had filled to the maximum level on multiple years, however on the same day this is happened for the first time. For last time Mangla filled to the peak level was in 2020, he added. On Thursday, the water inflow in River Indus at Tarbela was 221000 cusecs and outflows 199600 cusecs, inflow in River Jhelum at Mangla is 26000 cusecs and outflows 10000 cusecs, and water inflow at Chashma was 310400 cusecs and outflows 243100 cusecs.