Islamabad - The Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has downward revised the projected water shortage during the current Rabi season by from 38 percent to 33 percent.

The authority also forecasted that as per the initial estimates due to increased snowfall in the catchment areas the water shortage during the early upcoming Kharif season will also reduce to 15 percent, official sources told The Nation here Sunday.

For Rabi season the Indus River System Authority’s advisory committee, on October 1, 2018, projected 38 per cent water shortage. However a meeting of the Authority was held during first week of February where the water situation was discussed in the aftermath of the widespread rains this winter. It was agreed during the meeting that the shortage will be less than the early projection and will be around 33 percent, said the source.

During the first four months of Rabi season Punjab and Sindh provinces have faced 36 percent and 31 percent water shortage respectively. After the downward revision to 33 percent Punjab is likely to face 30 percent water shortage during the remaining season as it has already faced three percent more shortage during the first four months of the season. Similarly Sindh will face two percent more water shortage, than 33 percent, as it has faced less shortage in the previous four months of the season, the source said.

After the downward revision, of the water shortage, the share of both the provinces will be increased by 1.7 MAF. Sindh has increased its daily intend from 30000 cusecs to 35000 cusecs. Similarly 80 percent canals of Punjab has also opened and the water outflows from Mangla has been increased from 5000 to 15000.Balochistan is getting 4000 cusecs of water.

Regarding Kharif interim projection the source said that there was 15 to 20 percent more snowfall in the catchment area this year and it is expected that against the usual 40 to 50 percent water shortage of the early Kharif season the shortage will be 15 percent, said the source. The Water Accord 1991 empowered IRSA to determine water availability in the country and provincial share twice a year, once for Kharif season and the other for Rabi season. Rabi season starts from October 1 while Kharif starts from April 1.

Meanwhile a data released by IRSA said that on Sunday the total inflows in the rivers were 61500 cusecs while the outflows were 76500 cusecs while the storage is 1.728 MAF.Inflows in river Indus at Tarbela were 19000 cusecs and outflows 34000 cusecs, Kabul at Nowshera inflows 8000 cusecs and outflows 8000 cusecs, Jhelum at Mangla inflows 15000 cusecs and outflows 15000 cusecs, Chenab at Marala inflows 19500 cusecs while there is no outflows.

Tarbela against the minimum operating level of 1386 feet is presently at 1428.18 feet. The maximum conservation level of the dam is 1550 feet. Mangla against the minimum operating level of 1050 feet is  presently at 1125.60 feet, The maximum conservation level of the dam is 1242 feet.

Chashma against the minimum operating level of 638.15 feet is presently at 639.90 feet, The maximum conservation level of the reservoir is 649 feet.