ISLAMABAD, Oct 22 (APP):The government has embarked upon an ambitious plan to store additional 10 million acre feet of water by 2030 in order to enhance country’s water storage capacity.
Sources told APP here that over 7.1 MAF water would be stored through construction of Diamer Basha and Mohmand dams while remaining would be met through building small storage dams in all provinces during the said period.
They said that physical work had already been started on Mohmand Dam and it would likely to be completed before flood season of 2024.
The Mohmand Dam will not only generate 800 megawatt cheap hydel electricity but also store over 1.2 million acre feet (MAF), which will directly benefit people of Charsadda, Mohmand and adjoining areas of Khyber Pakthunkhwa.
Mohmand Dam is being constructed on River Swat about 48 kilometers from Peshawar at confluence of Mohmand and Charsadda districts and the dam’s reservoir area extends upstream to Mohmand, Bajaur and other northern districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Similarly, they said efforts were being made to launch work on Diamer Bhasha dam by end of this year. Diamer Bhasha Dam is also a multi-purpose project aiming at water storage, flood mitigation and power generation. The project will be constructed across River Indus about 40-kilometer downstream of Chillas City. With the construction of Diamer Basha Dam Project, the life of Tarbela Dam will be enhanced for another 35 years.
Pakistan receives around 142 MAF water annually through western rivers of which 104 MAF used for irrigation purposes. Similarly, approximately 40 MAF water is obtained from normal rainfall and 40 per cent through underground water per year.
It is pertinent to mention here that lack of additional water reservoirs in country resulted wastage of 11.65 million acre feet (MAF) during the Kharif Season 2019.
“Due to absence of adequate water storage in the country, 11.65 MAF surplus water released downstream Kotri could not stored during the Kharif season 2019,” they sources told.
They said the expected 15 per cent water shortage for the current Rabi season could also be eliminated after meeting ecological and sea intrusion needs if, there were additional water storage capacity.
They said the Indus River System Authority had also unanimously agreed that additional water storage should be constructed on war footing wherever feasible on the rivers.