A common misunderstanding is that the depletion of the Indus River has been caused by the dams, and there is very little flow below Kotri barrage. In reality, it is the barrages that deplete rivers dams. A dam stores surplus water and then release it to the barrages when needed, to meet the requirement of the irrigation canals, without interfering with the normal flow of the river in any way.

Sindh has three canals at Guddu barrage and seven canals at Sukkur barrage, and when Kotri barrage was built four more canals were taken out of it, leaving very little water in the Indus to flow. The water supply which increased to 104 million acre feet when Tarbela dam was commissioned 38 years ago, has remained static, while our population has increased from 8 crore to 19 crore over that period, along with the demand for food, hence demand for water for irrigation. This situation is not sustainable any longer and the country and its 19 crore people will pay very dearly for it if nothing is done soon.

ENGR KHURSHID ANWER,

Lahore, June 7.