ISLAMABAD: Indus River System Authority (IRSA) will review water sharing between provinces every 10 days and adjusted, if deemed necessary.

IRSA is also tasked to curtail shortages for the Early Kharif period till 10 June, 2024 – shortages that were initially projected at 30 percent but after current weather conditions scaled down to 21 percent for Punjab and Sindh. The decision was taken at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Abdul Hameed Mengal, Chairman IRSA/ Member Balochistan, attended by all IRSA Members, Director (Opr) and senior technical personnel of the Authority. The Authority reviewed the Water Situation (WS) from April 1st to 30th, 2024 and noted that the actual inflows of 10.35 Million Acre Feet (MAF) far surpassed the forecast inflows of 7.03 MAF with a 47 percent increase.

IRSA decides to distribute additional water

The meeting observed that increased river inflows - more concentrated in the Kabul and Jhelum Basins - were due to the exceptional westerly disturbances that stretched into the month of April 2024, making the rainfall total for the month 164% above normal. The recent rains added about 3.6 MAF in storages, accordingly, the storages in Tarbela, Mangla & Chashma Reservoirs stood at 4.358 MAF on 08.05.2024, i.e., 48 percent above the 10-year average. Taking the very promising water share into consideration, the Authority decided to curtail the shortages for the Early Kharif period till 10 June 2024 from the initial 30 percent to 21 percent for Punjab and Sindh, while allowing full indented supplies for Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the already approved exemption. Resultantly, provincial utilization of Punjab and Sindh was switched to the IRSA Advisory Committee’s (IAC) approved maximum scenario, whereby they were allowed to utilize the flood flows to avoid spillage.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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