IRSA technical committee fails to assess water shortage for Kharif | Pakistan Today

IRSA technical committee fails to assess water shortage for Kharif

An important meeting of the technical committee of the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) on Friday failed to estimate water supply during the upcoming Kharif season, starting from April 1, as the committee was informed that due to unexpected fluctuation in water inflows during the February-March period, the estimated inflows could not be worked out.
The meeting of the committee was chaired by IRSA Chief Engineer Yasmin Ihsan and attended by provincial representatives.
It decided that another meeting of the committee would be held after March 20 to assess the situation, as it was informed by relevant officials that they could not give any estimate of water inflows for the Kharif season due to continuation of cold spell in northern areas.
An official source said the next meeting of the technical committee was expected to be held on March 26. He said the officials were confident that by that time the position would be quite clear as currently the water inflows on some days were normal but decreased significantly due to change in weather.
However, he said the committee estimated that there were would be an unprecedented water shortage of 15 to 25 percent during the early Kharif season, from April 1 to June 10. This will significantly impact the sowing of important Kharif crops of cotton, maize and sugarcane. The committee assessed that overall the water shortage during the season would be between 5 to 10 percent.
After finalisation of the estimates by the technical committee, the IRSA adviser committee will be drawing up the irrigation plan in consultation with the provinces for the Kharif season.
The experts have already warned that the depletion of water level in the two main reservoirs of Tarbela and Mangla would push the sowing season by at least two weeks in Sindh. Sowing of crops in Sindh starts earlier than in Punjab, any delay will create provincial discord as both provinces would be demanding their share of water in the month of May.

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