SRINAGAR: Due to the constant drop in Jhelum’s water levels, the water supply schemes that depend on it are facing a severe shortage, causing a drinking water crisis, with those areas falling within the stretch from Sangam to Bandipora, being the worst hit.
Daily Excelsior reported that in the last 30 years, the water level of the Jhelum dropped to its lowest point in September 2023, with a shocking measurement of 0.09 recorded at the Sangam gauge – the lowest in 70 years.
Precipitation is believed to be the primary reason behind the decrease in water levels. The alarming 55mm deficiency in rainfall, has also led to the decrease in the decrease in water levels of the river, report suggests.
Moreover, the additional 5 degree Celsius surge in temperature has caused extensive damage to crops, with the heat wave in the valley breaking all the previous records.
Chief Engineer of the Jal Shakti Department, Sanjeev Malhotra, told Excelsior that they have devised ways to minimise the crisis’s impact by making adjustments to the river bed to ensure water flow to the pumps, which is then lifted for distribution.
Meanwhile, Chief Engineer of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Naresh Kumar, said that the drop in water level occurred after the end of the irrigation season and will have a minimal impact on crops.