Islamabad - Hydroelectricity generation is likely to decrease as the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) has reduced water releases from both reservoirs — Tarbella and Mangla — by almost 20000 cusecs.

Keeping in view the water shortage in the country, provinces have evolved a contingency water utilization plan and Punjab has requested the IRSA for the closure of all its canals, except Thal and Upper Jhelum Canal, from October 16 till the end of the current month, an official told The Nation on Monday. Sindh has also reduced its intake from 55000 cusecs to 40000 cusecs, the official said. Punjab has reduced its intake to 26000 cusecs whereas it will get 6000 cusecs through Thal Canal while will receive the rest from Upper Jhelum Canal.

Earlier in a letter, the IRSA had asked the provinces to make their contingency plan for the Rabi season as the shortage was likely to reach from 25 to 30 percent during the season.

The IRSA has also decreased the release of water from Tarbella by 15000 cusecs from the earlier 55000 cusecs to 40000 cusecs while releases from Mangla were reduced by 5000 cusecs from 35000 cusecs to 30000 cusecs, the official source said. The source said that the water release from Mangla will be further reduced from the existing 30000 cusecs to 10000 cusecs by October 19 and the release from Tarbella will be decreased from 40000 to 30000 cusecs. The reduction in releases will also adversely affect the generation of hydel electricity.

Due to the dry season, the condition of water availability in the reservoirs and rivers has further deteriorated. The water shortage is caused by the less than anticipated flow in Jhelum and Kabul rivers and the early drawdown from the reservoirs. The water flows in Jhelum is considerably less from the anticipated flows while the river flows in River Kabul were also considerably lower than the anticipated flows.

The source said that the IRSA was going to convene a meeting during the first week of November to ponder over the water situation in rivers and reservoirs and will upward revise the water shortage during Rabi season. However, it has not been yet finalized whether to convene the meeting of the advisory committee or IRSA’s internal meeting in this regard.

According the water report released by the IRSA, on Monday inflows in Indus at Tarbela were 36400 cusecs while the outflows were 40000 cusecs, Inflows of Kabul at Nowshera were 4300 cusecs and outflows 4300 cusecs, inflows of Jhelum at Mangla were 7600 cusecs and outflows 30000 cusecs, while inflows of Chenab at Marala were 11700 cusecs and outflows were 4000 cusecs.

Tarbela reservoir’s present level is 1484.75 feet against the minimum operating level of 1380 feet and maximum conservation level of 1550 feet.

The live storage of Tarbella was 2.852 million acre-feet (MAF). Similarly, Mangla’s present level is 1184.20 feet against the minimum operating level of 1040 feet and maximum conservation level of 242 feet. The live storage of the dam was 3.517 MAF. Chashm’s present level is 639.60 feet against the minimum operating level of 637 feet and maximum conservation level 649 feet.