There has been a massive decrease in the inflow of water to Khanpur Dam due to the prevailing hot and dry weather and no major rainfall in the catchment areas. — Dawn
There has been a massive decrease in the inflow of water to Khanpur Dam due to the prevailing hot and dry weather and no major rainfall in the catchment areas. — Dawn

TAXILA: The water level in Khanpur Dam has dropped to just 20 feet above the dead level, signaling a water crisis in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Officials at the reservoir expressed the fear that if the water level did not increase in a couple of weeks, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the cantonment boards in Rawalpindi may be asked to start water rationing.

According to the dam authorities, there has been a massive decrease in the inflow of water due to the prevailing hot and dry weather and no major rainfall in the catchment areas.

An official of the dam, Irfan Khattak, told Dawn on Thursday that the level of water in the reservoir was only 20 feet above the dead level, which was sufficient for only one month if there were no rains.

The total storage capacity of the dam is 1,982 feet above mean sea level (AMSL) while at present its level has touched 1,930 feet AMSL.

The dead level is 1,910 feet AMSL.

He said due to the supply of water to different beneficiaries, the water level was decreasing by 0.10 foot per day.

He said the outflow of 146 cusecs per day was much higher than the daily inflow of 45 cusecs.

“Due to the low level of water in the dam, the supply for irrigation purpose to both KP and Punjab has already been reduced.”

He said during a recent meeting, the CDA, Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB), Wasa and other organisations were directed to enforce water rationing.

He said the CDA was being supplied 80 cusecs per day, KP 35 cusecs per day for irrigation and Punjab 25 cusecs per day for irrigation.

Besides, cement factories got 2.18 cusecs per day, the University of Engineering and Technology Taxila one cusec per day while two defence industries were being supplied three cusecs per day.

During a visit to the lake by this correspondent, it was observed that the lake had almost dried up.

The underground rocks and the dam’s bed have become visible at different points.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2018

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