APP63-11 ISLAMABAD: May 11 - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chairing a meeting to review water situation in the country at PM Office. APP

ISLAMABAD, May 11 (APP):Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was on Friday told that the country was facing water shortage during the ongoing Kharif season due to significantly less snowfall in the catchments during the preceding winter season.
The prime minister was told this during a meeting he chaired to review water situation in the country here at the PM Office.
Minister for Power Sardar Awais Khan Laghari, Secretary Water Resources and senior officers were present during the meeting.
Secretary Water Resources while briefing the prime minister said that according to the data obtained from IRSA and WAPDA, in the past ten years, minimum snow cover was recorded in year 2010 which was around 45% of the catchment area, whereas in the current year it is 5% less than the past minimum value and the current recorded area is around 40%. It may also be mentioned that the snow cover during last year was 54%.
According to the Ministry of Water Resources, the Prime Minister was told that due to less snowfall in the winter, IRSA, in April, anticipated – and unanimously announced – 31% shortage of water from April 01 to June 10. However, since April, the actual available water remained 46% less due to which the storages have touched the dead levels.
The earlier anticipated shortage of 31% is therefore likely to increase up to 45% to 50%.
The Prime Minister was apprised that since April, the current water availability remained ever lowest during last sixteen years which has caused reduced generation of hydropower worst ever during past five years.
Keeping in view the gradual increase in the temperature, IRSA expects that the water availability will begin to enhance in the first week of June to the extent, at least, to cater to the minimum water requirements of the country.
By the end June, however, it is expected that the water would be available to meet the maximum irrigation requirements of the country.
The Prime Minister was told that the shortage in water was adversely affecting sowing of Kharif crops and the hydel power generation.