Pakistan has fully switched to an automated system of water distribution among the provinces by using a software tool.

Pakistan gets automated tool for water distribution

The country has developed a software tool funded by the Australian government to end the manual system of water distribution. This tool has been handed over to the provinces and federal government to distribute water. It would help to forecast flows in the rivers; system losses and gains; and water availability for the crops. The Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has been operating this tool parallel along with manual system for the last three years. Now, the manual system of water distribution, system operations and flows forecast in the river has been ended.The country has fully switched to automation system of water distribution and system operations. A meeting of Irsa was held at its headquarters in Islamabad on September 12 with the body’s chairman Zahid Hussain Junejo in the chair to discuss the progress and uptake of the Water Accord Apportionment (WAA) tool as well as its further proposed developments. The software Tool had been developed jointly by collaboration between the water resources ministry (MoWR); Irsa; Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda); provincial irrigation departments (PIDs); and Australian government through Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organidation (CSIRO) and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

The software tool was developed over the past three years. The meeting was attended by all Irsa members and technical personnel; Wapda adviser and representatives of PIDs. CSIRO was represented by project leader Dr Mobin ud Din Ahmad. ACIAR’s Research Programme Manager for Water Dr Neil Lazarow and Pakistan Country Manager Dr Munawar Kazmi were also there. After this technical discussion, a ceremony was held at MoWR to officially hand over the WAA tool report to the ministry’s joint secretary Muhammad Mehr Ali Shah, Irsa, Wapda and representatives of PIDs. The ACIAR representative appreciated the collaborative association of all the stakeholders in the development of the tool, especially Irsa’s role. The tool had initially included pre-seasonal planning capability, which was being effectively applied by different stakeholder agencies at present. He suggested that an Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Plan, taking into consideration all factors at play, to explore their mutual interaction and influences on each other, should be prepared. Efficient and integrated management of the water resources was the responsibility of the present generation to be able to pass it on as legacy to the next ones for sustainability of the Indus Basin Irrigation System (IBIS). The CSIRO representative briefed Irsa about the development profile of the tool and said that its objective was to bring consistency, transparency and ensure equity in distribution of the surface supplies of the IBIS between the signatories of the WAA. He added that this was to capture the complex IBIS river and reservoir operations and automise them into a user-friendly software tool and capacity building of the stakeholder organisations. He said that accurate and reliable pre-seasonal planning was of utmost importance due to the sensitivity of meeting with the provincial demands in time in the face of limited 10% storage capacity of the system, rapidly declining reliability of reservoir storage as a result of sedimentation, excessive inflow variability and its disturbed timing under climate change scenarios, compounded at the same time by increasing water demands.

Source: This news is originally published by tribune tribune

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