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QUEST, NAWABSHAH              

Indus River basin:

                   The Indus River Basin has a total
area of 1.12 million km2 distributed between Pakistan (47%),
India (39%), China (8%) and Afghanistan (6%). The Indus river basin arises from
the Tibetian Plateau in Western China, travels northwest through the Himalayan
mountains and after crossing into the Kashmir region and traversing into
Pakistan from the north to the dry plains of Sindh province in the south and
flows into the Arabian sea. The river basin covers an area of 520,000 km2
in Pakistan.

According to rough estimates, 300 million people use to live
near bank of river basin.

Indus river basin’s climate is not uniform.  Annual precipitation occurs between 100 mm
& 500 mm to a maximum of about 2000 mm.

The upper part of Indus river basin is a high mountain region
and the mountains limit the intrusion of the monsoon, and its influence weakens
north westward. Not only precipitation occurs in winter & spring season but
also in summer months and originates from the west, and not all precipitation
derives from monsoon sources, but even from frozen mountains after melting.
Climatic changes are strongly influenced by altitudes.

The climate in the Indus river varies by time, and climate of
Indus plain is arid to semi-arid (rainfall and dry).

The lower plain of Indus river from December to February is
the cold and mean temperature varies from 14 to 20 Centigrade degree. The
temperature during March to June varies from 42 to 44 Centigrade degree. While,
in the upper plain average temperature varies from 23 to 49 Centigrade degree
in summer & from 2 to 23 Cent: degree in winter. Annually Indus river
receives the rainfall of about 230 mm. keeping sight on the lower plain, Larkana
and Jacobabad get an annual rainfall of about 90 mm. Multan and Lahore being on
the upper plain receives rainfall of 150 mm and 510 mm annually. The
evaporation rate is high because of hot climate and the average annual rainfall
on the lower plain like Nawab-shah is 204 mm while the upper plain like Sargodha
is 650 mm.






Resources of Water available in Pakistan:

Water is one of the fundamental need of every
life. i-e, Humans, animals, birds, fishes, reptiles etc.

Allah has gifted Pakistan with ample resources
of water, with rivers flowing from the heights of Himalayas and Karakoram to
the unique bounty of land. Pakistan is basically an agricultural country.
Agriculture sector is considered as backbone of Pakistan’s economy and
contributes 25% of the GDP. More than 50% of our labor are working in this
sector. This sector is also great user of water. Similarly, for industrial
development our main source of energy is hydropower which is being generated by
abundance of water in big dams and reservoirs. Therefore, the significance of
water for the survival of our economy can’t be denied.

There are two types of major resources of water
in Pakistan i-e, artificial and natural.

Natural resources of water include rainfall,
ponds, wells, rivers, oceans, lakes, streams, glaciers etc. While, artificial
resources comprising the surface water from rainfall and rivers.


There are major two types of water resources in
Pakistan, the Monsoon and the Western distributaries. From July to September,
there is about 70% of the annual Monsoon rainfall in Pakistan. Monsoons starts
from the Bay of Bengal and usually reach in Pakistan, after passing over India,
in early July. It continues until September. Pakistan lies in both type of climatic
zones, arid as well as semi-arid. The Indus plain gets an average seasonal
rainfall of 212mm and 53mm in “kharif” & “Rabi” seasons. The system of
rainfall changes as we move from the north to the south of our country. It is
only in the Kyberpakhtoon Khuwa and northern canals of Punjab province that
receive some appreciable amount of rainfall during summer season as well as
winter season. There are two periods of violent storm in Pakistan: (1)
April-June (2) October-November. This is the driest part of the year. 





Pakistan also contains more glaciers. Indus
basin’s catchment area contains some of the largest glaciers in the world. The
catchment area of Upper Indus glacier area is about 13,680 km2 and considered
the river runoff in summer. Pakistan has collection of glaciers. The total
length of glaciers in Karakorum range is 160 km. About 37% of the Karakorum’s
area is covered with glaciers, Himalayas has 17% and European Alps has 22%.

The total area of glacier of the upper Indus
catchments is about 2250 km2, which is from most of the river runoff
in the summer season. The Kabul River, which is mainly snow-fed, originates
from the Unai Pass of the Southern Hindukush at an elevation of 3000 m above
sea level. After flowing in eastern Afghanistan, it enters Pakistan from north
of Khyber Pass. The Jhelum River originates from Kashmir at lower elevation
than that of Indus River.




Rivers and

Allah has blessed Pakistan with many rivers
having tributaries to the Indus. From eastern side of Pakistan there are five
rivers (Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej) which join Indus river, besides
these there are three minor rivers which are Haro, Soan and Siran. The overall
maximum flows of six rivers like;
Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Kabul are during Kharif season.

The historical background of Pakistan in case of dams is comparatively
short. Pakistan has three dams, at the time of independence. Two dams were in
Baluchistan province the khushdil khan dam, Spin Karazi dam and one in Punjab
province named as Nomal dam located in the Mianwali district. 

The construction of dams was come into action
in 1955 when Pakistan was confronting from shortage of power as well as water to
irrigate the lands. And still Pakistan is not pondering on the issues of dams,
even the international environmental institutions have informed the deficiency
of water from 2025 in the entire world according to their research. Pakistan
can only store the water for just 30 days.

Surface Water

The surface water resource in the Indus system
is based on the river inflow measured at the rim stations. A rim station is
defined as “the control structures
(barrages, reservoirs etc.) on river just when the river system enters into the
Pakistan territory or upstream of the canal irrigated Indus plain of Sindh and
Punjab province”

The following are the rim stations of the
various rivers in Pakistan.

Indus River  
……………………   Kalabagh Barrage

Chenab River …………………    Marala Barrage

Jhelum River …………………    Marala Reservoir

Sutlej River ………………….    Sulemanki Barrage

Ravi River ……………………     Ballkoi Barrage

                    The Indus river and its
secondary streams (or tributaries) has different flow in different times of the
year. From its total usage, most of the water is utilized for irrigation, some
water flows towards the sea and some quantity of water is consumed by the
system loses include; seepage, evaporation and spill during floods.

                  The barrages and reservoirs are
being used to divert the water of Indus Basin Rivers towards the main canals.
These canals distribute their water through a network of branch canals for the
irrigation purpose.

                   The Indus River System is
one of the best Irrigation System in the world consisting of 16 barrages, 3 reservoirs,
2 head-works, 2 siphons across major rivers, 44 canal systems, (Punjab=23,
Sindh=14, Kpk=5 and Baluchistan=2) 12 inter-linked canals and more than 107,000
water courses. In Pakistan, canals having length of about 56,073 km, length of
water course is 1.6 Million km, groundwater abstractions are 41.4 MAF, average
canal water diversions are 104.7 MAF, number of tube wells are more than
550,000, average evaporation of the sea is 39.4 MAF and total irrigated area is
36 million acres.



Before going to start the introduction of
irrigation because of groundwater supply, First the groundwater table of Indus
basin is about 40 ft in Sindh and 100 ft in the district Bahawalpur of Punjab
province. Our irrigation system through groundwater is not so good due to poor
management, shortage of drainage facilities and the additional discharge. Most
of the land of Pakistan is facing waterlogging and soil salinity due to the
rising of water table which results in reduction of productivity.

The water which is used for irrigation purpose is pumped through tube
wells in the fields, if the groundwater is saline. Water out of clean is
utilized for irrigation purposes. About 30 years ago, Upper Indus supplies the
good quality of groundwater. The total potential of groundwater in Pakistan is
55 MAF.













Each source
supplying quantity

The river system of Pakistan starts from the
snow-clad Himalayan & the Karakoram ranges. The entire system comprises
mainly of 5 rivers that pass through the Punjab province, which are; Indus,
Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej.

Above all rivers are presented concisely;

Jhelum River

River Jhelum originates from southern part of
the Kashmir valley and flows through Srinagar before entering Pakistan which is
about 54 km east of Anant nag and is nearly 774 kilometers long with a
catchment area of 39,200 km2. It has 10 major tributaries like; kunhar,
Poonch, Kanshi and some others in which Neelam is the largest tributary of 260
km long with a catchment area of 3,968 km2 and it is near
Muzaffarabad. Many dams and barrages are constructed on Jhelum river. One being
the more important dam constructed on it is Mangla dam which is world’s largest
earth-fill dam and was constructed in 1967. It has storage capacity up to 5.9

Chenab River

The two rivers names Chandra and Bhaga rivers
in the upper Himalayas (this part of Himalayas is snow-covered) join to form
the Chenab River, the joining place called as Tandi. The Chenab river is 1,232
km long and its catchment area is 41,760 km2. Chenab river flowing
through Jammu & Kashmir enters in Pakistan at the place Head Marala with
very sharp changes in slope. It has 12 major tributaries. Palku Nullah is its
largest tributary of about 120 km long with its catchment area of 1,269 km2.
The Chenab river is then joined by the Jhelum river at the place Trimmu, here
is a flood control mechanism near Jhang and ongoing further it merges into
Sutlej river near Uch sharif in Pakistan.

Ravi River

River Ravi also starts from low lying Himalayas range like many other
rivers. It flows through south-west region of Indian Punjab, moves along the
Indo-Pak border and merges with Chenab river. It is 880 km long with its
catchment area of 24,960 km2. It has 5 major tributaries but its
upper catchment lies in India and its largest tributary is 256 km long having
catchment area of about 730 km2.

 River Sutlej

                  The river Sutlej starts from China and in the
mountain range. It is 1536 km long having a catchment area of about 75,369 km2.
This river is 70% in India while rest is in Pakistan which flows near Ferozepur
and joins to river Chenab. It has 8 major tributaries but its largest tributary
is the Beas river.     

Indus River

The Indus river is 12th largest river in the world. This
river originates from lake Manasarovar to north of Himalayas range. It is
considered as unique in the sense that contains 7 of the highest peaks of the
world. The river Indus is 3200 m long out of which some area is in India. It
has many tributaries of about 27 are major, while Shyoke river is the largest
tributary having 640 km long. The Indus river’s flow depends on the season,
almost it reduces in the winter season and flooded season in the monsoons.    


Water Storage Capacity of Pakistan

                  Water is the fundamental need of
everyone. To make it store, it is indispensable for every country to store the
water. While we have lot of need of water for agriculture, industry, drinking,
domestic and many other needs. So, it is necessarily being stored. But,
unfortunately Pakistan has not such available sources to store the water not
the dams or else. Pakistan is facing many difficulties and challenges.

Pakistan is not a poor country but instead of
that there is nothing storage of water. Pakistan has only storage capacity of
30 days, whereas minimum requirement is of 120 days. While India has storage
capacity of 120-220 days. Maximum capacity to store the water is rewarded to
Egyptians of approximately 1000 days. America has storage capability of 900
days in river Colorado.  According to a
research figure, Pakistan will have requirement of 31% in 2025. Pakistan has
storage of water in Tarbela Dam nearly 9.69 MAF and Mangla Dam has 4.41 MAF
storage capability. Instead of knowing all the things, Pakistan government is
not taking any kind of step for storage of water.

According to 2013 figures, 146 MAF water is
received through Indus River, mostly from snow & melting of glaciers. The
current water availability in Pakistan is 97.71 MAF having 48.29 MAF are annual
loses. According to some facts and figures of WAPDA, Pakistan also gets
groundwater aquifers of about 50 MAF.













Natural Water Requirements

According to the surveyor’s report given in
2013-14, the population of country would be 220 to 230 million in 2025. Rapid
rise of population, urbanization and many other conditions will arise in case
of water resources.

As we know that there is no any living thing
which can survive without water, i-e; people, animals, birds, fishes, reptiles
etc. Pakistan has major sources of water like groundwater, glaciers only.
According to estimates, Pakistan covers an area of about 75 MAF, while 22 MAF
is used for irrigation purpose. In order to irrigate too much bigger area of
land there is need of sufficient water.





























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