Lahore: The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has shared the details of ongoing development projects, worth PKR 2,500 billion, related to the water and hydropower sector, a news source reported on November 29.
A meeting was held to discuss the water and hydropower sectors in the country with a delegation of PAF Air War College Karachi at the WAPDA House. Air Vice Marshal Hussain Ahmed Siddiqui headed the delegation that consisted of Pakistani and allied officers from Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Sri Lanka Nigeria, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
The meeting was informed that the WAPDA, is executing the biggest-ever portfolio of development projects for water, energy, and food security in the country. Some of the projects the authority is working on include Nai Gaj Dam, Diamer Basha Dam, Kurram Tangi, Dasu, Mohmand Dam, and Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project. The projects are expected to be completed in a phased manner, from 2023 to 2029.
WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen (retired) Sajjad Ghani stated that the water situation in the country can be improved by building more dams, adopting modern irrigation techniques, conserving water, and minimising water evaporation losses. It was mentioned that economic rejuvenation can be achieved through the development of an agro-based economy in Pakistan. He went on to say that the mega water reservoir after Diamer Basha Dam can bring a landmass, which can bring economic benefits equivalent to USD 10 billion per annum.
During the meeting, the delegation was briefed about the challenges to the energy and water security of Pakistan. It was informed that the per capita water availability has come down to 908 cubic meters per annum from 5,650 cubic meters. This is pushing the country to the stage of being a water-scarce country. The country can only store 10% of this annual river flow. The carry-over water storage capacity of Pakistan is 30 days, which must be increased to 120 days. Similarly, the low-cost hydel electricity, which stands at 9406 MW, must be improved from 28% to 50% in the national grid.