ISLAMABAD    -    Advisory committee of Indus River System Authority will meet on October 1 to finalize water share of provinces for the forthcoming Rabi season.

IRSA spokesman Khalid Rana told APP here Friday that the meeting would be presided over by the Chairman Sher Zaman and attended by all members, all provincial agriculture and irrigation sectaries, members Water and Power WAPDA, Chief Engineer Ministry of Water Resources and representative of Pakistan Meteorological Department.

He said the technical committee of IRSA anticipated 34 million acre feet (MAF) of water availability for the Rabi season. Out of total 34 MAF, 24 MAF would likely to come from rivers inflow while 10 MAF was available in the water reservoirs, he added.

He said as per initial assessment, 13-18 per cent water shortage was likely in the Rabi season as compared to 32 per cent last year. Water losses in the system were estimated at 2.4 MAF for the season, he added. He said currently around 10.5 MAF water was available in the reservoirs as compared to 6 MAF last year.

Khalid Rana said the water availability was better than last year as over 10.5 MAF water was available in the dams. He expressed the hope that the government could fix ambitious wheat cultivation targets this year owing to better water availability. The Chenab river also witnessed 3,000 cusecs additional inflow, he said.

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 1st, while Kharif starts from April 1st. Since Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were exempted from cuts in the share, the shortage in water would be distributed between Sindh and the Punjab.

Meanwhile, the IRSA on Friday released 211,300 cusecs water from various rim stations with inflow of 157,000 cusecs. According to the data released by IRSA, water level in the Indus River at Tarbela Dam was 1531.47 feet, which was 145.47 feet higher than its dead level 1386 feet. Water inflow in the dam was recorded as 98,800 cusecs while outflow 125,000 cusecs.

The water level in the Jhelum River at Mangla Dam was 1214.80 feet, which was 174.80 feet higher than its dead level of 1040 feet whereas the inflow and outflow of water was recorded at 11,900 cusecs and 40,000 cusecs respectively.

The release of water at Kalabagh, Taunsa and Sukkur was recorded at 143,900, 121,100 and 32,100 cusecs respectively.

Similarly, from the Kabul River a total of 15,800 cusecs of water was released at Nowshera and 16,400 cusecs released from the Chenab River at Marala.