Sparse rains cause dip in big dams
ISLAMABAD, July 27: As the dry spell continues in most parts of the country, the water level in main reservoirs is well below the average level recorded over the past 10 years.
According to a press release issued by Wapda on Friday, about 4.38 million acre feet (MAF) of water was stored in Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma reservoirs, far less than 7.52MAF in previous years and even less than the 6.80MAF on July 27 last year.
The press release said the most serious condition was in the Mangla dam which had 2.07MAF water on Friday compared to 4.12MAF last year.
Water in the Chashma barrage is at 0.14MAF, down from 0.17MAF last year while Tarbela was running low at 2.16 MAF against 2.50MAF last year.
Officials said the main reason was low rainfall in the region and slow melting of snow over the western Himalayas because of presence of clouds over the mountains.
“The water level in the Tarbela dam is dependent on the melting of glaciers and bright sunshine is needed in the north of the country, but the region has been mostly under the clouds for more than three months,” they said. However, they added, all was not lost and the water in the main reservoirs was still well above the dead level.
According to Wapda, the water level in the Tarbela dam was at 1,461.73 feet on Friday, against the dead level of 1,378, but it was much below the maximum level of 1,550 feet.
The level in Mangla was around 90 feet below the maximum level of 1,242 feet.
“What we need is a couple of good rainy spells by the end of August and the situation will be under control,” the officials said.
The Met office said the country remained almost dry because the easterly winds were not moving towards India and Pakistan.
Sialkot received more than 129mm rain because of collision of cold winds coming from the northwest with hot and moist winds coming from the Arabian sea.
“Since both the systems are weak, heavy rains are witnessed in Sialkot only and nothing happened in the northern Punjab,” the official said, adding “we do not see any major rain system in the next few days and the country is having heavy rains only at isolated places.”