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IAC anticipates 10pc water shortage for early and 4pc for late Kharif

ISLAMABAD   –  IRSA Advisory Committee (IAC) Thursday approved the Kharif water availability plan and anticipated 10 per cent  shortage for early and 4 per cent  for late Kharif, 2021.

The IRSA Advisory Committee (IAC) rejected the Sindh province demand of distribution of water as per Para 2 of the Water Accord,  saying that the issue is pending with Council of Common Interest (CCI), therefore, the water distribution shall be made as per practice in vogue, which is very much within the parameters of Water Accord 1991.

An online IRSA Advisory Committee (IAC) meeting was held here under the Chairmanship of Engr Rao Irshad Ali Khan, Chairman/ Member IRSA Punjab, to approve the Kharif 2021 anticipated water availability criteria for  Kharif season (from Apri l1, 2021 to September 30, 2021).

The meeting was attended by all members of IRSA, officials from Federal Flood Commission, Wapda, Pakistan Metrological department ,  Provincial Irrigation Depts (PIIDs) and Provincial Agriculture Depts (PADs).

IAC reviewed the Rabi 2020-21system operation and observed that the actual Rim-Station inflows of 21.14 MAF remained 10 per cent  less than forecasted volume of 23.44 MAF. Despite reduction in inflows, the IAC expressed satisfaction that the actual provincial withdrawals remained at 31.21 MAF, i.e., 15 per cent  short and a little less than anticipated shortfall of 10 per cent , due to less than expected system losses of only 0.57 MAF as compared to anticipation of 2.35MAF.The provinces received indented supplies. Downstream Kotri releases remained 0.556 MAF.IAC discussed the recommendations of IRSA Technical Committee (ITC) meeting held on March 26, 2021. IRSA’s technical committee had anticipated 15 to 19 per cent water shortage for the early Kharif season while zero shortage for the late season.

After a comprehensive discussion and input from all stakeholders, losses of 30 per cent  and 15 per cent  in Indus Zone during early and late Kharif, respectively, and 10 per  cent  and 0 per cent  losses in JC Zone during early and late Kharif, respectively, as proposed by Wapda  were agreed. Member IRSA Sindh and  Balochistan insisted to adopt losses of 35 per cent  on Indus during early Kharif period. However, to resolve the long-standing issue of System Losses, a Joint Committee,  comprising of IRSA members Punjab and Sindh, respective representatives of the PIDs and CEAs office would undertake flow measurements at required locations and would recommend the actual losses based on those observations. 

Metrological department while informing about the weather conditions said that during the months of January to March, 2021 rainfalls in the country remained below normal. He said during April – May 2021, it is anticipated that rainfalls and  catchments temperature may remain normal. The forecast for Monsoon will be issued in the month of June 2021. After detailed deliberations, the following likely inflow sat rim stations for Kharif 2021 were agreed, compared with last year and last 10-year inflows.  It was anticipated that the flows will be 108.745 MAF in the rim stations, which is higher than 100.739 MAF of the last year and the average inflows of last ten years, which was 105.037.

It was noted that current season’s forecasted inflows were about 8 per cent  higher than previous year and about 3.5 per cent  higher than last 10-years average. Based on the above-mentioned agreed Rim Station Inflows, minus storage requirements of 10.495 MAF, minus the expected system losses of 15.150MAF and unavoidable escapage during flood season of 14.423 MAF downstream Kotri, the following likely anticipated withdrawals at canal heads of respective provinces, compared with last year and last 10-year average, were authorised by IAC as:

The above-mentioned likely provincial withdrawal sat canal heads of 68.677 MAF were5.5 percent  higher than last year withdrawals of 65.11 MAF and 5.7 per cent  higher last10-year  average of 64.97 MAF. The Basin-wise shortage was approved as 10 per cent  for early Kharif and 4 per cent  for late Kharif,2021. It was agreed by the participants that the likely projected shortages were manageable and hopefully the cropping targets for early and late Kharifs 2021would be achieved by utilising efficient and best water management and water application practices. It was also decided that remaining within the above indicated likely shares, the provinces would submit their Withdrawal Plans within 15 days to IRSA.

IAC also approved maintenance of Tarbela Reservoir levels at 1417 ft SPD till June 10, 2021 to facilitate T3&T4 HPPs ongoing works, in-line with request of Wapda.  However, any unexpected surge in river inflows and sediment delta movements in the reservoir due to limited outflows capacity and sustenance of the required levels, respectively, shall be the responsibility of Tarbela authorities. However, Wapda  was directed to make efforts to complete the works by June 01 to avoid any eventuality. 


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