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Country to face dry spell till December, says PMD

ISLAMABAD:
An ongoing dry spell in the country is likely to persist till December, possibly causing an acute water shortage, the Met office said on Saturday. It has directed all concerned authorities, along with farmers and domestic users, to conserve water or risk severe water crisis in the near future.

“Water management is the need of the hour to avoid an expected drought-like situation in the country,” Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) chief Dr Ghulam Rasul told The Express Tribune. He said there is almost no chance of heavy downpour across the country till December.

“Below average occasional showers are expected at scattered places across the country till the end of this year. This will also have an adverse impact on snowfall patterns,” he said. According to him, there is no obvious explanation about what is causing the ongoing dry spell.

Dr Rasul pointed out that the country’s irrigation system depends on reservoirs where water accumulates during the monsoon season. “Now October is coming to an end and we have already utilised a major amount of water from these reservoirs,” he said. “The remaining water is meant to be used to sow Rabi crops in both Sindh and Punjab.”

The PMD chief advised concerned authorities to take precautionary measures while distributing water among both provinces in order to avoid needless losses. “Considering the current situation, there is an urgent need for the government to launch a massive campaign on water conservation,” he stressed.

Taking a similar stand, the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) spokesman Khalid Rana said his department had already projected 17% water shortage for the upcoming Rabi sowing period. “Only if Pakistan receives a good amount of rainfall in December and January will the water shortage decrease,” he said.

Source: The Express Tribune.