Lahore [Pakistan], May 1 (ANI): The imminent water crisis in Pakistan has turned worse as the total number of river supplies has taken a great plunge to 97,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) on Saturday.
The national water shortage in the country has dropped down to 51 per cent against the calculated total of 29 per cent, reported the Dawn newspaper. As per calculations of the Indus River System Authority (Irsa), instead of receiving 8.6 million acre-feet of water, Pakistan is surviving with a bare minimum of 5.4 million acre-feet, incurring a loss of another 38 per cent.
Amongst the worst affected is the Kabul River with supplies down to only 16,700 cusecs compared to a 10-year average of 41,200 cusecs. Jhelum and Chenab rivers have also shared the same fate as the Kabul River, with supplies dipping dramatically.
Apart from that, with a demand of about 105,500 cusecs, the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) was able to supply only 51,400 cusecs to Punjab, while the Sindh water supply counted to 32,600 cusecs against a demand of 67,100 cusecs, reported the Dawn newspaper. Both the units absorbed 51 per cent of the water shortage.
An official of the Punjab irrigation department said that the water shortage will affect Punjab “in the next five to seven days” and Sindh for “10 to 12 days” impacting the sowing of crops like cotton, sugarcane, “and the entire range of the Kharif crops.”
Syed Tahir Shah, a farmer, expressed his disappointment by conveying, “It also means no water for final watering of wheat and cotton sowing,” According to him, since both Mangla and Tarbela dams were unable to provide enough water supply, it will greatly affect the Rabi and Kharif seasons. A wide range of crops is bound to suffer during the months from February to April, reported the Dawn newspaper.
“In practical terms, it means pressure on food security (wheat) and major cash (cotton) crop and hence the country’s 70 pc foreign exchange. Building new reservoirs is the only solution left for Pakistan to avoid slow financial death and an impending hunger crisis.” the farmer added.
In addition, Rana Khalid, an Irsa spokesman, stated that weather patterns will contribute more to the crisis. Drought patterns and wet weeks were becoming quicker causing prolonged periods of drought spells.
“Limited storage means permanent water trouble. And since the problem is permanent, so should the solution be,” said the spokesperson. (ANI)