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Thursday Dec 20 2018
Web Desk

Severe water scarcity imminent as country’s two major dams recede

Web Desk

LAHORE: Authorities have warned of an imminent shortage of water in the country as water levels in two key dams recede.

According to Indus River System Authority (IRSA), which regulates and monitors the distribution of water sources of Indus River, water levels in Tarbela and Mangla dams are declining, which could lead to severe water scarcity in the country in the next few days.

The water level in Tarbela dam is currently at 1,416ft, only 30ft above the ‘dead level’. In Mangla dam, the water level is 1,113ft which is only 63ft above the crisis level, the authority said.

The two dams could not get enough water to be filled to their maximum capacity this year. Resultantly, any water scarcity could lessen the share of water for Sindh and Punjab, it said.

Pakistan faces an imminent water crisis; official projections show the country, whose population has increased fivefold since 1960 to some 207 million, will run dry by 2025, when it will be hit by an "absolute scarcity" of water with less than 500 cubic metres available per person.

In July this year, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered immediate construction of Bhasha and Mohmand dams. Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar also formed a fund for building the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.

On Wednesday, Minister for Federal Water Resources Faisal Vawda said Prime Minister Imran Khan will perform the groundbreaking of the Mohmand dam in the first week of January. The dam is slated to produce 800 megawatts of electricity and irrigate 17,000 acres of land.

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