Water crisis looms large as Tarbela Dam hits dead level


ISLAMABAD: Dwindling rainfall and snowmelt are taking their toll on the country’s depleting water resources as Tarbela Dam has reached its dead level of 1, 386 for the first time in its history.

According to details, due to the water level at the dam, Punjab and Sindh are likely to receive less than their fair share of water to meet irrigation requirements.

The inflow of River Indus at Tarbela is around 101, 000 cubic feet per second (cusec) and outflow is 95, 0000 cusecs.

The months of July and August are usually when the inflow is at the peak in the dam owing to the monsoon season and snowmelt. But, less rainfall and melting of snow is a result of global climate change and has put strains on the country’s water supplies.

Melting glaciers and snow in the Western Himalayas usually increases inflow in Tarbela, but this time around, the temperature didn’t rise to 30C and above in Gilgit-Baltistan and Skardu areas, resulting in low water level in the dam.

Keeping in consideration the water crisis in the country, the Supreme Court had ordered immediate construction of Bhasha Dam and Mohmand Dam.

The apex court had ordered the federal government, Wapda and the executive authority to take effective measures in light of unanimous decisions of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to develop the 4,500MW Bhasha Dam and 700MW Mohmand Dam.