THARPARKAR: With the onset of monsoon rains which began on Monday in lower Sindh, light to moderate rains brought renewed hope for the region which has been undergoing a dry spell. There are chances it will end severe droughts in Thar Desert that have been a feature of life there for the past four years and have killed more than 2,000 infants in the arid regions of the province. With the first shower, the farmers of Thar Desert have started ploughing their fields and natural ponds have started receiving fresh water. Sukaar Foundation, a non-governmental organisation implementing Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) projects in Tharparkar said those villages under good precipitation areas have already stored around six months water stocks using household ground water tank technology. “Take example of Chelhar and Jouro Union Councils, where villagers have been able to preserve water for four to six months,” said Kishore Kumar, a representative of Sukaar Foundation. The water rain has become a blessing for them as Haryar village in Chlehar was facing multiple problems. Locals were forced to drink water with Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) level of 4,000 to 4,500. Those who could afford water tanks fetched water from Mithi, eight kilometers away. “Similarly dwellers at Bolri Bheel in Jorour Union Council were consuming water with 3,000 TDS level prior to precipitation,” he added. TDS is a measure of the combined content of all inorganic and organic substances contained in a liquid. According to Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Observatory Mithi, around sixty percent of Tharparkar received rains during the monsoon that started last week. “So far Islamkot and Chachhro have received most rains out of six tehsils of the district receiving 53 millimeters (mm) and 43 mm respectively,” said Danesh Kumar, who was in charge at PMD Observatory Mithi. “On the other hand Mithi received 20 millimeters of rain while Nangarparkaer received 11 mm of rains. There was no recording of rains in Dahli tehsil,” he added. According to him, this is the first time in Tharparkar that monsoon started in June. During the last 10 years weather pattern also changed due to climate change. The Met Department has already forecast more rains in early July during monsoon season that will last till September. As per traditional Tharparkar rain patters, if there are four consecutive precipitations with a twenty-day gap, it is considered a good monsoon. Experts say provision of safe drinking water is the single most important issue in Thar; the majority of people in Thar are dependent on groundwater resources that were not fit for human consumption. However during the last four years of drought, the water table had gone down. According to estimates Thar Desert had experienced 73 droughts in 114 years. There was a drought every third year and the current drought has entered its third consecutive year. Meteorological data has showed the average rainfall was more in Tharparkar in four to five years as compared to other areas while there was a flooding situation in Mithi in 2011. However implementation of water conservation strategies was the missing factor.