Around 80 per cent of water supply schemes in Rawalpindi district are providing contaminated water, leaving the city’s residents at risk of serious diseases such as hepatitis, jaundice and diarrhea.
This is according to the results of a Technical Assessment Survey conducted by Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) in seven tehsils of Rawalpindi district.
The survey revealed that water supply schemes are supplying piped water for drinking and household needs to a population of around 1.5 million.
It also suggests that 38 per cent of the schemes are dysfunctional, meaning that 60 per cent of the population is starved of water.
A PCRWR official said poor management, operation and maintenance of the water systems have contributed to supply issues. Overall, 68 per cent of the 148 dysfunctional schemes have been found to be temporarily closed, while 32 per cent are permanently closed.
A lack of maintenance on mechanical and electrical components, missing transformers, breakage and damage in water distribution systems and communal disputes regarding funds collection are among the reasons identified by the survey for the schemes’ temporary closure.
PCRWR Chairman Dr Muhammad Aslam Tahir said water from 76 per cent of the functional schemes was unsafe for drinking while water supplied from 75 per cent of these schemes had microbiological contamination.
According to the survey, many flaws have been found in the design of the water supply schemes.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2013.