LAHORE: The water conservation level in the country’s two mega reservoirs — Tarbela and Manga Dams — has increased due to canal closures and no releases to Punjab and Sindh in December and January. The recent rains in the catchment areas have also caused a bit contributing to increasing the water level.

“It is mainly because of the annual canal closure that remains in force from December to January,” says an official.

According to reports shared by the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), the water level in Tarbela recorded on Dec 16 was 1,440.04 feet with 0.889 million acre-feet (MAF) live storage, which increased to 1,442.69 feet on Jan 16 (Sunday) with 0.945 MAF live storage. It may be mentioned that the minimum operating and maximum conservation level of Tarbela is 1392 feet and 1550 feet.

Similarly, Mangla Dam’s water level also attracted an upward trend, as it jumped to 1,132.35 on Sunday with 1,145 MAF live storage from 1,126.25 feet with 0.961 MAF recorded on Dec 16. The Mangla’s minimum water operating and conservation level is 1,050 and 1,242 feet respectively.

Meanwhile, Wapda’s Sunday’s water report mentioned rivers’ flow as: Indus at Tarbela (inflows 13,400 cusecs and outflows 5,000 cusecs), Kabul at Nowshera (Inflows 8,700 cusecs and outflows 8,700 cusecs), Jhelum at Mangla (inflows 11,800 cusecs and outflows 100 cusecs), Chenab at Marala (inflows 15,900 cusecs and outflows 15,900 cusecs).

It also mentioned the rivers flowing situation at barrages as: Jinnah (inflows 14,000 cusecs and outflows 14,000 cusecs), Chashma (inflows 19,400 cusecs and outflows 25,000 cusecs), Taunsa (inflows 27,200 cusecs and outflows 27,200 cusecs), Panjnad (inflows 85,200 cusecs and outflows 85,200 cusecs), Guddu (inflows 40,200 cusecs and outflows 29,500 cusecs), Sukkur (inflows 6,500 cusecs and outflows 6,500 cusecs) and Kotri (inflows 6,100 cusecs and outflows 500 cusecs). The Chashma, which of minimum operating and maximum conservation level is 638.15 feet and 649 feet as per design recorded the present water level at 643.10 feet with live storage of 0.080 MAF on Sunday.

“The inflows and outflows of the River Indus at Tarbela, Jinnah and Chashma, the River Kabul at Nowshera and the River Jhelum at Mangla have been reflected as mean flows of 24 hours, whereas the other flows have been gauged at 6am on Sunday,” explains the report.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2022

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