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Receding Rawal Lake thirsts for rain

June 16, 2012

ISLAMABAD, June 16: The Rawal Lake has dried up to dangerously low levels and the water in the reservoir is dropping rapidly, said the Small Dams Organisation Saturday.

“If we do not get good rains we will not be able to provide water after a month or month-and-a-half,” said Project Director Small Dams Organisation Shabbir Ahmed, explaining that the outflow from the dam was much higher than the inflow.

Everyday 40 cusecs of water is being provided to residents of Rawalpindi. Without rains in the catchment areas, the lake is being somewhat recharged by the few fresh water streams and still the amount is insufficient, the official said.

“This is one of the worst conditions we are facing again. The SDO faced a similar threat two or three years ago when the water level in the lake fell to critical levels.

It is the same countrywide. The Indus River is also critically low about 46, 000 cusecs when it should roughly be 80,000 cusecs that sometimes even increased to 150,000 cusecs and more,” said Mr Ahmed.

The Meteorological Department said next week would be as dry as the last week with temperatures fluctuating between 40 and 45 degrees.

“We usually anticipate early monsoon rains in the last week of June but there are no certain predictions at the moment,” said an official in the Met Office.

Nonetheless, the evening by the lake side was as pleasant as they come with breeze, the setting sun and visitors walking deeper into the dried-up cracked waterbed despite the fact that the maximum temperature touched 43 degrees on Saturday.

While children ran around playfully, parents walked behind shouting out not to stay in the sight.

Some adults particularly pointed out to the old Murree Road that resurfaced after many years explaining how they used to drive through this place before the dam was built.

“Then many years later the dam was built and we could only drive up to the banks of the lake,” said a senior citizen who complained that the walk now to the water took a toll on his weak knees.