Water shortage to end by next month, NA told


– Construction work over 12 dams expedited

By Anzil Amin

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Water Resources Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah on Thursday said that the water situation in the country will improve by June 30.
Addressing the floor of the National Assembly, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah said Sindh is facing an acute shortage of water and hoped that situation will improve by June 30. He said the shortage in water will also be shared with the provinces accordingly.
Shah said we have to be united in this tough situation as the country faced the water crisis in 1951 too. The minister said provinces will get their due share of water as per the accord of 1991.
Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman on Wednesday expressed concern over the water crisis in Sindh. “The 60pc shortage of water in River Indus is very dangerous,” she told the media in Islamabad.
The population of the province, agriculture and livestock are at risk due to the 52pc to 62pc shortage in Sindh’s barrages and canals. “Many cities of the province are not receiving water due to a shortage in the Indus,” Ms Rehman said.
She further said right now, Kotri barrage downstream should have an adequate 15,000 cusecs of water, but instead less than 2,000 cusecs were being released. Due to this severe shortage, farmers were dangerously at a risk of losing their cotton, rice and other crops in Sindh. “Water scarcity in Sindh and south Punjab is worrisome in this warm weather.”
Meanwhile, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has expedited construction work over dozen small and medium dams aimed at enhancing, clean energy generation, water availability and climate resilience across the country.
As per details given by the official sources, the dams were dual purpose projects as it were designed to store rains and floodwater along with hydropower generation in all the federating units of the country.
He added that the small and medium dam projects initiated in Balochistan included Winder Dam project that would produce 0.3 megawatts (MW) energy and water storage capacity of 0.036 Million acre-foot (MAF), Naulong Dam to produce 4.4 MW power and store 0.20 MAF water, Hingol Dam to generate 1 MW electricity and 1.41 MAF water storage, Garuk Dam to have 0.3 MW power production capacity and 0.05 MAF water storage and Pelar Dam to produce 0.3 MW energy and would conserve 0.099 MAF water.
In Sindh, the Nai Gaj Dam would produce 4.2 MW electricity and store 0.30 MAF water, whereas the Darawat Dam was expected to produce 0.45 MW energy and store 0.12 MAF water after completion.
The WAPDA has also started work on different small and medium dams in Khyber PukhtonKhawa including the Kurram Tangi Dam of 83.4 MW hydropower potential and 1.2 MAF water storage capacity, Tank Zam Dam having 25.5 MW power generation and 0.345 MAF water storage capacity and Daraban Zam Dam would produce 0.75 MW energy and 0.069 MAF water storage capacity.
The WAPDA official further said the Authority had started construction work on different small dams in Punjab including Ghabir Dam having 0.15 MW power production capacity and 0.066 MAF water storage, and Papin Dam of 0.3 MW power and 0.089 MAF water storage capacity hydropower projects that were at various stages of development.
He informed that keeping in view the energy demands, project completion pace and availability of funds the Authority has decided to ensure swift culmination of construction and development work on the projects as it would not only help address water and energy issues rather would generate jobs for the local communities and start tourism and business opportunities.