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To farmers’ delight, rains provide surplus water

CrazyZ

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To farmers’ delight, rains provide surplus water
Ahmad Fraz KhanPublished July 24, 2021 - Updated a day ago
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LAHORE: As the second monsoon spell wears out and the third one enters the country next Monday, farmers and water planners have reason to rejoice: showers have eliminated water shortages, helped substantially fill both major dams and benefited the entire crop cycle (rice, sugarcane, and maize).

According to Met department officials, the country received 23 per cent more rain between July 1 and 23 than its historical average. During these three weeks, Punjab received 17pc more rain, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 32pc, Gilgit-Baltistan 151pc, Azad Jammu and Kashmir 9pc, and Balochistan 49pc more rain. Sindh was the only unfortunate part that received 12pc less rain.

The two spells so far have ended water scarcity that had reached close to 30pc, but provinces are now getting 26pc more than their requirement. On Friday, Sindh was getting 160,000 cusecs, Punjab 135,000 cusecs, Balochistan 14,000 cusecs and KP 3,100 cusecs. According to the Indus River System Authority (Irsa), the overall (April 1 to July 20) water shortage has come down to 12pc.

During these weeks, the Tarbela Lake rose by 57 feet; it stood at 1,431 feet on July 1 against 1,488 feet on Friday. Even more significantly, Mangla Lake jumped by 23 feet during the same period: from 1,153 feet to 1,176 feet. Both lakes, however, are still far behind their planned levels: Tarbela’s 35 feet and Mangla’s 60 feet. But Irsa considers this a much better position than what it was facing three weeks ago, and pins hopes on the next spell from Monday.

Planners pin hopes on next spell starting on Monday to fill dams even more

Khalid Idrees Rana of Irsa explains how the authority is caught between hope and despair. “The current situation is much better than what it was at the beginning of the month. On Friday, the authority had an inflow of 424,900 cusecs against the 312,000 cusecs it released in the system. However, the situation is not as good as it was hoped for or predicted by the Meteorological authorities. They forecast a peak of 300,000 cusecs in both rivers Jhelum and Chenab during the spell that has just ended. But what we actually got was a peak of 150,000 cusecs in Jhelum and 139,000 cusecs in Chenab. For River Indus, it hoped for a 375,000 peak flow, whereas the river did not go beyond 288,000 cusecs. We are keeping our fingers crossed for the next spell,” he said, adding that the situation had eased a bit and a lot would depend on how the next spell, expected to start on Monday night, panned out.

With no signs of shortage and instead water available in surplus, farmers, especially in the upper parts of Punjab, are happy. All three major crops under various stages of their life cycle are expected to benefit from the rains.

“Those who have sown maize early (to be followed by wheat or potatoes) would certainly see their crop turning healthy with soil cooling down and showers supplementing water requirements,” says Raja Lutfullah, a grower in the suburbs of Gujranwala.

Water is always good for rice, but with the quantum that the current spell has provided (the district received over 310 millimetre rain) the farmers may not have to switch on their tubewells for another two to three weeks. Similarly, cane crop would not need tubewells for at least two weeks. All these are water guzzlers and have their ‘one watering’ taken care of.

“Since it was sporadic, the benefits have not been evenly distributed,” Abad Khan tells his side of the story. “We (in Chichawatni) did get a shower in the city, but not even a drop in the surroundings. This has been the case in many areas, where one part received a heavy shower, but it was completely dry beyond a kilometre. In an ideal situation, it should have rained widespread, benefitting all. However, that remains a wish for the last spell.”


Monsoon came late this year but so far is providing more the average rainfall. Climate change will lead to more rain/snow in Northern Pakistan but more drying in Sind and Baluchistan (although this year has been good for Baluchistan so far).
 
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Bilal.

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If enough small/medium dams are made in Baluchistan. It can store 12-13 MAF water thar is wasted in floods during rainy season. That’s 50% more than Bhasha.

Baluchistan cam become a huge center of agriculture with it. Lots of potential for cotton, fruits and vegetables and other crops.
 

ali_raza

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If enough small/medium dams are made in Baluchistan. It can store 12-13 MAF water thar is wasted in floods during rainy season. That’s 50% more than Bhasha.

Baluchistan cam become a huge center of agriculture with it. Lots of potential for cotton, fruits and vegetables and other crops.
only workable solution is wather through indus diverted there
like soviets did with amu darya and some others
while destroying aral they created giant cotton fields in uzbek and turmen areas which were pure deserts or semi deserts traditionally almost like balochistan
india did same with our satluj and beas and ravi which we foolishly gave away
i m of a point that actual rivers of punjab were only 4 which 3 india took away while indus was for sindh
we should abolish ivt asap and demand india free flow on rivers as traditionally happened for millions of years
 

Bilal.

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only workable solution is wather through indus diverted there
like soviets did with amu darya and some others
while destroying aral they created giant cotton fields in uzbek and turmen areas which were pure deserts or semi deserts traditionally almost like balochistan
india did same with our satluj and beas and ravi which we foolishly gave away
i m of a point that actual rivers of punjab were only 4 which 3 india took away while indus was for sindh
we should abolish ivt asap and demand india free flow on rivers as traditionally happened for millions of years
 

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CrazyZ

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I am a supporter of dam construction but one must look at the complete water shed. Rain waters may not be wasted.......but trickle into the ground water supply. Rain water collection and storage in underground cisterns may be a better solution, since they will be less impacted by evaporation during the summers, in Sind and Baluchistan.
 

Bilal.

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Aug 9, 2013
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I am a supporter of dam construction but one must look at the complete water shed. Rain waters may not be wasted.......but trickle into the ground water supply. Rain water collection and storage in underground cisterns may be a better solution, since they will be less impacted by evaporation during the summers, in Sind and Baluchistan.
As long as it’s stored. Right now it’s not only wasted but actually cause destruction by causing floods.
 

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