The Indus River System Authority (Irsa) decided on Friday to give more water to two provinces after a temperature increase in northern parts of the country improved river flows, bringing down the water shortage from 40 per cent last month to 10 per cent.
The water share of Punjab was increased to 110,000 cusec from 91,000 cusec and Sindh’s share was enhanced to 125,000 cusec from 103,000 cusec a day earlier.
The water releases from Chashma barrage were increased to 155,000 cusec from 127,000 cusec while discharges from Tarbela dam were increased to 96,000 cusec from 83,000 cusec. The releases from Tarbela would be further enhanced to 115,000 cusec on Sunday, informed sources said.
Irsa has started conserving water at both the major reservoirs – Tarbela and Mangla. The improved flows and consequent increase in discharges have also led to higher electricity generation from hydropower resources, now touching 4,700MW against about 2,000MW last month.
Officials said the storage at Tarbela dam has now gone up to 1,392 feet against its dead level of 1,378 feet. For almost a month until last week, there was no storage at Tarbela, forcing authorities to adopt a run-of-the-river policy under which whatever water was available was released downstream.
The storage level at Mangla also improved to 1,102 feet on Friday against its dead level of 1,040 feet.
Sources said the sowing season that had been delayed for a couple of weeks at the start of the season owing to water shortage was now complete. The average inflows at Tarbela dam were recorded at 100,200 cusec on Friday against its outflows of 96,700 cusec. The inflows at Mangla stood at 53,420 cusec on Friday against its outflows of 44,470 cusec.