If water scarcity not addressed, drought-like situation likely to hit Sindh
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Sindh is facing serious water shortage and if the problem was not tackled it might create drought-like situation in the province threating lives of people, livestock and wilting crops, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Tuesday.
The Sindh government is complaining that the province has not been given its due share of water as was decided in the 1991 Water Apportionment Agreement. The National Assembly Standing Committee has also taken up the water scarcity issue in Sindh.
All three barrages of the Sindh are receiving 62% less water than its due share. These three barrages are responsible to provide water to seven channels coming out of these barrages.
As per the Water Apportionment Accord of 1991, the Sukkur barrage was to receive 39,500 cusecs water. But the barrage is receiving just 18,516 cusecs of water and facing a shortage of 20,984 cusecs.
It was agreed in the accord to apportion 15,700 cusecs water to Kotri barrage but the barrage is given mere 4,805 cusecs water - 10,895 cusecs less water than its allocated share.
The water channels coming from Guddu barrage are still closed.
An important channel – Rohri Canal – is facing 41.6% water shortage. The North and West Canal is facing 46.4% and Nara Canal is facing a shortage of 33.6%.
Another water channel coming from Kotri barrage – Ikram Wah Canal – is facing 76.6% water shortage at New Pheli point, at Old Pheli 69% and at Kilri Bhar Feeder point, it is facing a shortage of 27.5%.
From Taunsa barrage, 13,000 cusecs water was released to Guddu barrage. But water trend released from downstream could not be detected upstream at Guddu barrage.
Sindh Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro has also objected saying that the flow of water is flawed.
Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said that Sindh was facing 60% water shortage. She said it’s a grave situation which needed a thorough deliberation. She was of the view that the water shortage could seriously impact province’s population, agriculture sector and the cattle head.
She said that in Kotri barrage, only 2,000 cusecs water was released against its share of 15,000 cusecs. She observed that both Sindh and South Punjab were hit by water scarcity. She called for a judicious apportionment of water under the Water Apportionment Accord of 1991.
On Monday, while speaking at a press conference following a meeting at the Prime Minister Office during which PM Shehbaz Sharif formed a task force to deal with climate change amid heatwave and melting of glaciers in the country, Sherry Rehman warned that Pakistan could face acute shortage of water by 2025.
She said that Pakistan was among three most water-stressed countries in the world and could become a water scarcity-hit country by 2025 if steps were not taken to conserve water and reduce impact of climate change.
Reporter Syed Rizwan Ahmad