Water storage capacity of big dams goes down

Despite shortage, 12m acre feet of water is wasted

Our Correspondent March 21, 2017
Despite shortage, 12m acre feet of water is wasted. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has expressed concern over severe water scarcity in the biggest dams of the country, saying the crisis will directly hit agriculture and power sectors.

In a statement, LCCI President Abdul Basit, Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa and Vice President Nasir Hameed Khan said Pakistan was an agrarian country and it could not afford water shortage at any cost. However, no strategy has been evolved to tackle the major issue.

They said the country depended on only two major dams - Tarbela and Mangla - and it was a matter of concern that water storage capacity of the two reservoirs had significantly reduced.

Water levels at Mangla, Tarbela at lowest points in a decade

“The ongoing water crisis is the result of a dispute over Kalabagh Dam while around 12 million acre feet of water is being wasted into the sea, which is equal to the capacity of the two big dams,” added the LCCI office-bearers.

They said as per World Bank analysis, “our storage capacity has gone down to 150 acre feet. India has improved its per capita storage up to 200 acre feet, which will improve further once under-construction dams start giving results.”

Hydel generation registers sharp winter decline

“The country is faced with damaging floods every two to three years, which adversely impact the economy,” the officials added. They urged the government to take steps for water conservation and its effective use, adding that it would reduce capital and operational costs.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2017.

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cautious | 3 years ago | Reply | Recommend The capacity hasn't changed - the current water level within the dam is critically low.
Pnpuri | 3 years ago | Reply | Recommend Under the treaty India can use the western river waters for irrigation up to 701,000 acres with new water storage capacity not exceeding 1.25 MAF and use the rivers for run of river hydro power generation with storage not exceeding 1.6 MAF and nominal flood storage capacity of 0.75 MAF. Once india builds dams, it will conserve water during monsoon reducing water flooding Pakistan. Any excess water conserved will also be available to Pakistan for irrigation during lean season. Two countries should jointly work so that india may use water for hydropower production and other permissive uses. Pakistan thereafter use water for its requirements.
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