According to a media report, the country is bracing itself for one of the more severe water shortages for the agriculture sector in recent times, mainly due to non-filling of Tarbela Dam to maximum capacity causing a cut in price of key crops during the upcoming Rabi season. It is feared that nearly 15 percent shortage in actual surface availability may occur in the upcoming Rabi season which simply means that about 5.46 million acre feet of less water will be available for irrigation purposes during the said period. The water deficit of projected 15 percent in coming Rabi season is huge.

It merits a mention that Rabi crops season begins from October, 1 and its crops including food staples such as wheat, gram, lentil, tobacco, barley and mustard; all harvested in April-May. The country’s agricultural output is closely linked with the availability of irrigation water.

Dams provide twin benefits; water storage and the generation of cheaper hydro-electricity. Both are critical for the growth of agriculture and industry. In view thereof, there is a dire need to exploit ideal sites available on all major rivers for the construction of more dams.

KHAN FARAZ,

Peshawar, September 23.