LAHORE: Per capita water availability in Pakistan has come down from 5650 cubic meter in 1951 to an alarming level of 908 cubic metres per annum, pushing us to the stage of water-scarce country, said General Manager (Hydrology and Water Management) WAPDA Shahid Hameed.
He said while briefing a delegation of PAF Air War College, Karachi, which visited the WAPDA House on Monday. He also briefed the delegation about the water scenario, development plans and future challenges in water and hydropower sectors.
He said Pakistan can store only 10 percent of its annual river flows against the world average of 40 percent. Ironically, instead of increasing water storage capacity, Pakistan has lost about one-fourth storage of the dams. The live water storage capacity that used to be 16.26 million acre feet (MAF) in 1976 has reduced to 13.68 MAF, which equals to only 30 days carry over capacity. India has carry over capacity of 170 days, Egypt 700 days and America 900 days. The carry over water storage capacity has to be increased from 30 days to 120 days. Likewise, the ratio of low-cost hydel electricity also requires to be drastically improved.
According to him, the WAPDA has been expeditiously working on a number of projects to improve water situation in the country and add a sizeable quantum of hydel electricity to the National Grid. Mohmand Dam, Diamer Basha Dam and Dasu Hydropower Project are to name a few. A comprehensive strategy has been devised through which various projects will be completed in a phased manner. On completion from 2025 to 2029, Mohmand Dam, Diamer Basha Dam and Dasu Hydropower Project (Stage-I) will add gross water storage capacity of 9.3 MAF and about 7500 MW low-cost and environment friendly hydel electricity to the National Grid.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021