ISLAMABAD: Officials of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) have identified 20 points in Islamabad where rainwater harvesting systems will be set up.
If successful, this initiative will appease demands for the construction of new dams, said Shahid Sohail, who is responsible for the CDA’s Rain Harvesting project. “Rainwater will be conserved, and we will be able to reuse it,” he said. These systems will be set up at Faisal Avenue, Margalla Road, Suhurwardy Road and some buildings. The proposal has been prepared and will be presented to the CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi in a board meeting next week, Sohail said.
The meeting was scheduled for today but had to be postponed because the chairman was not available, he added. The pilot project at Faisal Mosque was set up in collaboration with the Pakistan Council of Research for Water Resources and funded by UNDP at a cost of Rs1.5 million, he said. “It is too early to evaluate its usefulness … depends on the amount of rainfall we would receive,” he added. Similar projects are in the pipeline. “The network of rain water harvesting initiatives will be extended...a rooftop water collection system will be set up at the old Naval Headquarters Building and the Kachnar Park in Sector I-8,” he said.
Sohail, who also serves as the director of the CDA’s Sewage Treatment Plant, added that such a system will also be incorporated into the Zero Point Interchange Project. At the moment, the daily water supply in Islamabad is 55 million gallons. This is not enough for the 1.2 million people living here, he said. “It is an acknowledged fact that the water supply network of the capital is poor,” he said. Water supply is further hampered by leaks at numerous points, he added.
“It is a blessing that we receive ample rainfall but a lot of water is wasted due to a lack of planning,” Sohail said. Earlier this year, an official of the Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (PAK-EPA) told The Express Tribune that rainwater harvesting systems are the best option to overcome water scarcity in the capital.