ISLAMABAD - Tarbella Dam, the country’s major reservoir, is expected to be filled to the maximum level of 1,550 feet today (Wednesday) as flows into the Indus have improved.

Water level in Tarbella reservoir has already crossed 1549 feet by Tuesday evening and by Wednesday morning it will reach to the maximum level of 1550 feet, official sources told The Nation here.

IRSA has also asked WAPDA to keep balance in inflow and outflow from the reservoir. Tarbela minimum operating level is 1,380 feet and maximum conservation level is 1,550 feet while on Tuesday the live storage was 6.117 million acre feet (MAF).

However, water flow in the Jhelum River was much lower at 23,700 cusecs, and while the discharge was 10,000 cusecs. The storage at the Mangla Dam was recorded at 1,234.20 feet against its maximum storage capacity of 1,242 feet. Therefore, IRSA has decided to divert water from the Indus Zone to Mangla-Chenab Zone by increasing water flow in Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal from 8,000 cusecs to 10,000 cusecs.

In a meeting held between various stake holders in July, it was decided that only one feet of water per day will be stored in Tarbella. According the stance of the Ministry of Water and Power, since the piezometer of the dam has been not working for the last three decades so it’s becoming hard to get the accurate reading of the storage and therefore it was decided to store only one feet water in Tarbella reservoir. Due to rains in the catchment area and snow melting due to high temperature it becomes possible to fill the dam to the maximum level.

Last year WAPDA failed to fill Tarbella reservoir to its maximum level of 1,550 feet and resultantly on August 21 2016, the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) had imposed cut on the water share of both Punjab and Sindh by 21.5 per cent. Last year, the Tarbela Dam was filled to 1,541.47 feet only which was more than eight feet less than the peak level. IRSA held WAPDA responsible for not taking prompt action on the authority’s request to fill the reservoir to its capacity.

On Tuesday the position of the river inflows and outflows at Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma along with the reservoirs levels were; The inflows in River Indus at Tarbela were 2,12,300 cusecs while discharge was 1,83,100 cusecs, inflows of Kabul at Nowshera were 41,800 cusecs  and outflows were 41,800 cusecs, inflows of Jhelum at Mangla were 23,700 cusecs while discharge was 10,000 cusecs, inflow in Chenab at Marala were 89,100 cusecs and outflows 59,500 cusecs. Chashma present level is 646.30 feet against the maximum conservation level 649 feet.