Dry Spell Hits Jammu And Kashmir As Jhelum's Water Level Hits 60 Year Low

The fall in Jhelum water level has impacted power generation and drinking water supply.

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir is facing the longest post-monsoon dry spell in more than 40 years. The impact is most distinctly visible in the plummeting water level of the River Jhelum. Just two years after the river flooded much of Kashmir, it has dropped to its lowest in six decades.

Even during the harshest winter stretch and freezing cold, the Valley has barely got any snow.

"This is the longest dry spell the valley has witnessed in last four decades. The reason for this is the frequency and intensity of western disturbances has not been very strong," said Sonum Lotus, Director Meteorological department in the state's capital, Srinagar.

The absence of snow has hit winter tourism.

The Valley usually gets 100 mm of rain in October, November and December but this year it has got only 3.6 mm.

The unusual dry spell has also caused a spike in pollution. "The pollution level, particularly the carbon dioxide and emission of greenhouse gases into atmosphere, is more. It will have negative impact," said Mr Lotus.

Even as the weatherman says there could be some rain or light snowfall in the next week, the drastic fall in the Jhelum water level has also impacted power generation and drinking water supply. Officials say, maintaining the water level for navigation has become a challenge.

"In my service of 35 years, I have never seen Jhelum getting it to such a low level," said Latief Malik, Superintendent Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control.
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