Low levels of water in Mangla dam because of inexpert water management warned Indus Rivers System Authority (Irsa). This may be expected to result in problems in irrigation in coming sowing seasons for winter crops.

Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has been made aware by Irsa in a letter written on 24 July that water conservation is affected by nonconformity in standard operating procedures (SOPs). During the last week or so the Irsa management was troubled over the slow filing of the Tarbela dam. It is also mentioned in the letter that against the SOPs, water filling of Tarbela dam was restricted to 1 foot/day.

When the dam was constructed Tarbela dam was promised to fill 5 feet/day according to SOP since 1976. Experts from Wapda, Irsa and experts/advisors of the National Engineering Services Pakistan (Nespak) consulted each other and devised the procedure.

The dropping water inflow of the Indus River was on various counts such as catchments temperature, and speckled rainfall said the Irsa officials. He said that such natural prospects can affect water conservation of Tarbela dam to 1,550 feet at its maximum similarly as happened back in Kharif 2016.

He furthered stated that the link canals may result in water dispute among the investors. Irsa officials recommended that all agencies i.e., Wapda, Irsa, and Nespak have signed the SOP for filling Tarbela dam to its full.

He appealed to prioritize the issue and added that water authorities consented for water conservation in Tarbela dam to its maximum even in different flow patterns. Contradictory to last year, when Wapda did not follow own criteria of dam filling leading to a shortage of water in 2017 in late Rabi season and early Kharif then IRSA and water authorities consented on several patterns for filling.

At the site of Tunnel-4 extension project, the water regulation and operation authorities formalized a smooth way of impounding in Tarbela lake. A week back Wapda switched back to 1 feet/day filling pattern ignoring its own consent. This will lead to massive loss of water by the end of the high-flow season.