ISLAMABAD - A massive dip is likely to hit the Indus Basin Irrigation System (IBIS) within next 5 to 15 days as cut of up to 45pc has been imposed on the provinces share due to worsening water avail­ability situation in reservoirs.

Indus River System Authority has informed the provinces that currently Tarbela is at dead lev­el, meagre storage of 0.168 MAF is available at Mangla while Chashma is likely to touch its dead level in the next 24 hours.

Looking at the current forecast there is no chance of improvement in the water availability during this week, however the metrological de­partment has predicted pre monsoon rains in first week of June, official sources told The Nation. Currently Punjab and Sindh are receiving 40 to 45pc less water than their share, receiving 73000 cusecs and 74000 cusecs respectively, the source said. The water share of Punjab and Sindh is around 115000 cusecs. Punjab cur­rent intends is for 115000 cusecs while Sindh intend is 10000 cusecs, however they are getting less water than their intends, the source said. The source said that there is dip in River Indus and Kabul flows but the reduction is far bigger in Chenab and Jhelum rivers. There is decrease of approximately 45pc in the wa­ter flows in Jhelum and Chen­ab, the source added.

Cut of up to 45pc imposed on provinces share due to worsening water availability in reservoirs

Meanwhile, in letter to pro­vincial irrigation secretaries, IRSA has said that the total Rim-Stations inflows, as of May 24,2022, are recorded at 144,800 Cubic Feer per Second (cfs) against yesterday’s total of 156,600 cfs and 10-year av­erage of 230,400 cfs, clearly depicting that the system has entered yet another dip as ex­pected and intimated in our reference quoted supra. This is due to peculiar weather condi­tions in the upper catchments of the rivers causing Skardu’s maximum temperatures to tumble from around 28°C on May 19, 2022 to around 16°C to 21°C and sustaining there for the past 4-5 days, the letter said. The ensuing low inflows have stressed the already al­most empty storages with combined live storage of 0.191 MAF against 10-year average of 3.238 MAF and individual live storages as of 24.05.2022 of nil storage at Tarbela (dead level 1398 ft), meagre storage of 0.168 MAF at Mangla (1083 ft) and Chashma storage of 0.023 MAF (likely to touch dead level in the next 24 hours). As Mangla level is already below Spillway crest level of 1091 ft, the out­flows through the powerhouse are also at the maximum capac­ity vis-a-vis the current low lev­els. Currently, about 40 to 45pc shortages are being distributed at the Rim-Stations, resultantly a massive dip is likely to hit the Indus Basin Irrigation System (IBIS) with a lag times of about 5 to 15 days to the provinces due to nil regulating/augment­ing capacity of the reservoirs.

In view of the above stated alarming water situation, it is once again reiterated and re­quested to plan in advance the utilization of available supplies in the river system efficiently, cautiously & judiciously during the dip, by placing of carefully estimated rationalized indents without any wastages, till im­provement of water situation is seen hopefully in the first half of June 2022, the letter said.