Water availability down to alarming levels: WAPDA
Pakistan’s per capita water availability has come down from 5650 cubic metre in 1951 to an alarming level of 908 cubic metre per annum, pushing Pakistan to the verge of water-scarcity. The country can store only 10% of its annual river flows against the world average of 40%, said Lt Gen Sajjad Ghani (Retd), Chairman of the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda).
Speaking to a PAF Air War College delegation at the Wapda House, Ghani said, ““We have merely 30 days carry over capacity of water in comparison to India with 170 days, Egypt with 700 days and USA with 900 days. The carry over water storage capacity will have to be increased from 30 days to 120 days.”
“Likewise, the low-cost hydel electricity, which stands at 9406 MW at present, also needs to be improved from the existing 28% to at least 50% in the national grid,” he added.
The delegation, which was led by Air Vice Marshal Hussain Ahmed Siddiqui, and comprised of Pakistani and allied officers from Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe, was also given a detailed debriefing on Pakistan’s overall water situation, the country’s hydro power projects and challenges being faced with regards to water and energy security.
“The water situation in Pakistan can only be improved by constructing more dams, conserving water, adopting modern irrigation techniques and minimising water evaporation losses,” he said.