Chairman Water and Power Development Authority Lt. Gen. (retd) Muzammil Hussain has expressed concern over the acute water shortage in the country in the near future.
Speaking on 24 News HD TV Channel’s 10 program on Friday, the WAPDA chairman said that there would be severe water shortage in the near future as the country would get only 1 million acre feet instead of 6 million acre feet. . He said that only 13 million acre feet of water has been stored instead of 140 million acre feet. He also termed the agreements with IPPs as a disaster.
Earlier last month, briefing a delegation from the National Defense University (NDU), Islamabad, the WAPDA chief said that water resources should be utilized across the country to achieve water, food and energy security. A more integrated mechanism is needed to bring it about. He said that WAPDA was constructing eight mega projects including Diamer Basha Dam, Mohmand Dam and Dasu to improve the water situation in the country and increase the share of low cost and environment friendly hydropower in the national grid. The projects, which will be completed one by one from 2022 to 2028-29, will have a total storage capacity of 11 million acre-feet of water, reduce flooding, irrigate 1.6 million acres and generate 9,000 megawatts of hydel power. I will join.
The WAPDA Chief said that per capita water availability in the country has come down from 5650 cubic meters in 1951 to an alarming level of 908 cubic meters per annum, which has taken us to the destination of a water-scarce country.
Experts say that amid growing population and climate change, the availability of fresh water in Pakistan is becoming alarming, which could lead to an absolute water shortage by 2040. According to the Washington-based magazine, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ranks Pakistan third on the list of countries facing severe water shortages. Furthermore, the per capita availability of fresh water in Pakistan has fallen below the water scarcity threshold (one thousand cubic meters), from 3,950 cubic meters in 1961 and 1,600 in 1991. Many experts fear that fresh water will be available to everyone in Pakistan. This further reduction will be 860 cubic meters by 2025 and could reach the level of water shortage in the country by 2040. This decline can also be attributed to the growing population, for example, the population has increased from 46 million in 1961 to more than 200 million today.
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