Low winter snowfall blamed
Penjwen faces long-term water scarcity risk
PENJWEN — Penjwen has experienced double the rainfall this rainy season compared to last year, yet snowfall has plummeted to a mere quarter of the levels seen in the previous year.
The district, which needs 750 millimeters of rainfall annually for its agricultural needs, is now facing a potential water scarcity crisis that could persist for the next 15 to 20 years, says Bahadin Hasan, director of the Meteorology Department at the Penjwen Agriculture Directorate.
This season, Penjwen has seen only 7 cm of snow, sharply down from the 46 cm recorded by this time last year. Although rainfall has increased to 646 mm so far, up from 441 mm at the same point last year, the significant drop in snowfall poses a threat to the district’s water reserves.
“Penjwen requires 750 mm of rain and one meter of snow each year to prevent drought. Snow is essential for replenishing our groundwater reserves. Without adequate snowfall, even 750 mm of rain may not be enough for our agricultural season,” Hasan stated.
He cautioned that the ongoing trend of reduced snowfall could lead to significant water challenges in Penjwen over the next two decades.
With approximately 20,000 acres of farmland, Penjwen produced more than 280,000 tons of summer crops in 2023, underscoring the dire consequences water scarcity could have on the district’s agriculture and food security.