Water Availability In Pakistan Stands At 903 Cubic Meter Per Capita

ISLAMABAD, (Muzaffargarh.City – 6th Jun, 2018 ) :Senate Standing Committee on Water on Wednesday was apprised that currently per capita water availability in Pakistan stood at 903 cubic meters while in 1951 it was 5,000 cubic meters.

The meeting headed by Shamim Afridi reviewed water scarcity in Sindh and ongoing water dam projects.

The committee was informed that the country having 1,000 cubic meter water per capita has categorized in water scarce countries.

The committee was told that out of 35,409 Million Acre feet (MAF) reservoirs in the whole world,1,577 MAF are in South Asia and only 145 MAF in Pakistan.

The chairman of WAPDA in his briefing told the meeting that 25-35% of our water comes from rains and 65-75% from glaciers in the Northern parts.

He observed that 60% of our population is directly engaged in agriculture and livestock and despite being included in 15 most water scarce countries, Pakistan has one of the most water intensive agriculture with fourth highest use of water rate. 90% of country’s water is used in agriculture.

He said it is need of the hour to take this matter in the Council of Common Interests as to how overuse of water in irrigation can be reduced and use the same for domestic needs.

The chairman of WAPDA while giving an analysis of water reservoirs told the meeting that Pakistan has a total of 155 dams while India has 5102 dams.

He said Pakistan has water storage capacity for only 30 days while India has 170 days.

He remarked that Pakistan needs to narrow the huge gap between the growing population and its needs and the number and capacity of water reservoirs.

Talking about the Indus Cascade, he termed it the most precious asset for the country. He told that the Indus enters Pakistan at an altitude of 8430 feet and gives us a drop of 7030 feet till Kalabagh at an altitude of 1400 feet giving us multiple sites along the stretch for building reservoirs and run of the river projects.

The committee was given an account of the projects under process by WAPDA which include Kachi canal (PH-1) commissioned in September 2017, Nai Gaj Dam to be completed by June 2019, Muzaffargarh & TP link Canal by June 2019 and RBOD-I and III by November 2019.

The committee was given details of short term, medium term and long term water reservoirs and run of the river hydro power projects to meet futuristic needs of the country. These include reservoirs and hydropower projects inNaiGaj, Naulong, Bara, Tank Zam, DiamerBasha, Mohamand, KurramTangi II, Chiniot, Shyok, Dhudhnial, Skardu, Akhori, Rohtas and other small and big dams.

The chairman and members of the committee assured WAPDA and IRSA of all out support for approvals and work on any and all projects for welfare of the people.

Senators Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Dr. Jahanzeb Jamaldini, Syed Sabir Shah, Qurratul Ain Marri, Agha Shahzeb Durrani, Gianchand, Syed Shibli Faraz, Chairman WAPDA Lt Gen (R) ChaudhryMuzamil, Chairman IRSA Ahmed Jamal, members IRSA from all provinces and other officials also attended the meeting.