Islamabad-The Indus River System Authority (IRSA) has convened the meetings of technical and advisory committees, this week, to finalise the anticipated water availability plan for the upcoming Rabi season.

Meeting of the IRSA’s technical committee will be held today (Monday), while meeting of the advisory committee has been convened on September 29, official source told The Nation.

IRSA’s technical committee will finalise the anticipated water availability for the Rabi season 2022-23 (starting from October 1), and will recommend draft anticipated water availability criteria with the total likely Rim-stations inflow to the advisory committee for the final approval. The advisory committee will finalise the share of the provinces for Rabi season.

The Water Accord 1991 empowered IRSA to determine water availability in the country and provincial share twice a year, once for Kharif season and the other for Rabi season. Rabi season starts from October 1 and ends on March 31, while Kharif starts from April 1 and continue till September 30. Since Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) were exempted from cuts in the share, the shortage of water would be distributed between Sindh and the Punjab.

It’s worth mentioning here that in July this year while briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Water Resources on water situation in the country, Chairman IRSA Zahid Hussain Junejo had said that if there is no more rain there will be more than 50 percent water shortage in Rabi. However, afterwards the country received sufficient rains and the main reservoir Tarbela had attained its peak level of 1,550 feet. Prior Rabi 2021-22, Tarbela Dam had attained its peak level for less than couple of days; however, this time the reservoir had retained the peak level for longer time. Nonetheless, Mangla reservoir has failed to attain its peak level during the monsoon season.  The live storage in the country as of 25 September was 9.872 MAF, while the total inflows in the rivers were 139,900 cusecs while the outflows were 152,700 cusecs.

During the ongoing Kharif season, since April 1, the total downstream Kotri discharges were 36.833 MAF. 

The water inflows in River Indus at Tarbela were 80,100 cusecs and outflows 79,300 cusecs, the inflows and outflow in River Kabul at Nowshera were 21,100 cusecs; Jhelum at Mangla inflows were 12,400 cusecs and outflows were 26,000 cusecs, inflows in Chenab at Marala 24,700 cusecs while outflows 4,000 cusecs.

Tarbela–against the minimum operating level 1,398 feet–is presently at 1,550.00 feet. The maximum conservation level of Tarbela is 1,550 feet, live storage as of Sunday was 5.827 million acre feet (MAF). Mangla reservoir against the minimum operating level of 1,050 feet is presently at 1,191.25 feet. The maximum conservation level of Mangla is 1,242 feet while the live storage was 3.803 MAF. Against the minimum operating level 638.15 feet, Chashma is presently at 648.30 feet. Maximum conservation level of Chasma is 649 feet and its live storage was 0.242 MAF.