Any person having even a semblance of common sense would not deny the benefits associated with setting up of new reservoirs provided inter-provincial equality is maintained. It is rather sad that despite all the assurances, Sindh in the recent years is getting 5-8 MAF (million acre feet) less water against the allocated 48.76 MAF. It is also worthwhile to note that dams are meant to be filled when water is surplus whereas Mangla is unjustly filled in April-May when there is shortage in Sindh for a Kharif crop. Controversy over water availability is the key conflict over the construction of storage dams. Sindh technocrats estimate that every 4 out of 5 years, the yearly system flows are around 123.59 MAF. The WAPDA officials, however, estimate an unbelievable figure of 152 MAF as average annual flows. Another ubiquitous clich asserted by pro-dam lobbies is that Sindh is an inefficient producer. The facts on the contrary, speak otherwise. Even at present, Sindh contributes over 35% of rice, 30% of sugarcane and 15% of wheat production in Pakistan whereas 80% of its cultivable area is classified as having high/moderate yield potential. Thus the continuous insistence that Punjab only can feed Pakistan if allowed a lions share of Indus water is nothing but a fallacious myth. Water escapade to Kotri downstream is also wrongly perceived as a mere waste and water for frogs and worthless forests. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) team of experts earlier this decade proposed the annual requirements for outflow to sea for environmental sustenance to be 27 MAF. However, lack of sea escapade has caused damage to more than 1.5 million acres of fertile land in eight Tehsils of deltaic districts and loss of 600,000 acres of Mangrove forests. Any progress towards construction of new reservoirs without addressing serious apprehensions of small provinces would result in a disaster to which Federation of Pakistan is already eerily familiar with. ABDUL RAUF, Karachi, November 8.