ISLAMABAD  - Eight power units have been shut as water level in Tarbela Dam nears its dead level, reported a private TV channel on Monday.

The channel quoted sources as saying that only six units were working. About 520MW electricity is being produced by the dam, the sources added.

Experts say the water will hit its dead level in a couple of days.

According to Indus River System Authority (Irsa), the water level dipped to 1,383.9 feet while its dead level was 1,378 feet. The water level has been decreasing by 3 feet per day owing to daily water discharge.

According to Indus River System Authority Chairman Syed Mazhar Ali Shah, water inflow in Tarbela Dam witnessed considerable increase owing to widening of Attabad Lake Spillway. He said recently, the dam received 40,000 and 30,000 cusecs of water.

However, he said the increased water flow would continue for a few days. The chairman said the Irsa advisory committee meeting would be convened to review water situation for Kharif Crop.

Meanwhile, Irsa released 107,000 cusecs water from various rim stations with inflow of 62,000 cusecs. According to the data released by Irsa, the maximum water level in the Indus River at Tarbela was 1394.40 feet, which was 16.40 feet higher than its dead level of 1378 feet. Water inflow in the dam was recorded as 33,500 cusecs while outflow was recorded as 50,000 cusecs.

The water level in the Jhelum River at Mangla was 1,084.90 feet, which was 44.90 feet higher than its dead level of 1,040 feet whereas the inflow and outflow of water was recorded as 6,800 cusecs and 35,000 cusecs respectively. The release of water at Kalabagh, Taunsa and Sukkur was recorded as 61,600, 46,100 and 33,200 cusecs respectively.

Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: The Wapda has stated that no water can go missing between Tarbela and Chashma, however, water downstream of Tarbela, at times, gets reduced marginally due to earlier low outflows and dry riverbed.  The availability of water in Tarbela and Mangla reservoirs was 0.037and 0.269m acre feet respectively which was lower than the average for last 10 years due to prevalence of snowfall and cold weather in the catchment areas, resulting in lower inflows.

The water releases from Tarbela and Mangla reservoirs are always decided in accordance with Irsa indent. This season, Irsa indent, remained higher than that of the last year, due to which water level plummeted quickly.

Comparing with the average of 10 years and the last year, the outflow increased by Irsa on demand of the provinces, meaning thereby low inflows and increased outflows have disturbed the accounted storage of water.  The situation is expected to improve as soon as weather conditions in the catchment areas of the reservoirs become normal, said the Wapda.

Dams are constructed, primarily, for irrigation purposes, and hydel electricity is always generated through the water released according to Irsa indent.