Islamabad: The Indus River System Authority (IRSA) recently revealed that Pakistan continues to suffer from annual economic losses amounting to approximately USD 29 billion on account of unutilised river waters that go unchecked into the sea — owing to the country’s limited water storage capacity, according to news sources.
This information was revealed in the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Water Resources. Member (Punjab) Indus River System Authority (IRSA) Rao Irshad Khan told the meeting that the ‘development of dams is essential for the survival of our coming generations’.
He told the meeting that one million-acre-feet (MAF) of water irrigates four million acres of land on an average basis and 1 MAF water is estimated to cost USD 1 billion. He revealed that 29 MAF water was going downstream Kotri (last structures on the Indus system for water regulation) annually and falling into the Arabian Sea.
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Irshad Khan said that this water ‘needs to better stored and be utilized to irrigate virgin lands’. He said that the ‘loss of such a huge quantity of water is putting our future generations at risk’.
The committee ordered survey completion so that the contract can be awarded for telemetry system establishment for accurate water flows reporting and immediate appointment of ISRA’s member from Balochistan.