Due to a 21% reduction in rim station inflows, the country’s largest reservoir, Tarbela dam, is expected to reach its dead level next week, dramatically reducing water supplies to provinces.
The Indus River System Authority (IRSA) has informed provincial secretaries of Irrigation Departments of all provinces that rim station inflows had decreased significantly from 206,109 cusecs on May 15, 2022 to 162,082 cusecs, affecting the provinces’ water allocation.
“I am to state that a review of today’s water situation reveals that temperature in the catchments is oscillating, with a significant drop recorded at Skardu, which is 21°C compared to yesterday’s temperature of 27.8 °C,” IRSA Director Khalid Idrees Rana wrote in his letter.
The rim station inflows have decreased by 44,027 cusecs (-21%) from 206,109 cusecs on May 15, 2022 to 162,082 cusecs on May 20, 2022 due to temperature instability. It’s also worth noting that the storage component available in Tarbela, Chashma, and Mangla is only 0.344 MAF (last year 0.995 MAF; 10-year average 3.195 MAF), which isn’t enough to compensate for falling river inflows at rim stations.