According to the Indus River System Authority (IRSA), Pakistan dumps water worth $21 billion into the sea every year.
The Senate Forum for Policy Research was informed that this situation is the result of an inadequate water conservation system in the country.
Immediate Need For More Reservoirs
The Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) and IRSA attended a meeting of the forum that put forward the concerns with regards to the water conservation system of the country as well as the provincial water distribution.
The meeting, that was chaired by Nayyar Husain Bukhari, highlighted that Pakistan may soon fall prey to water shortages given that no immediate action is taken to conserve the amount of water wasted into the sea each year.
According to members of IRSA, “The country needs three Mangla-sized dams to conserve the amount of water that goes to sea each year,”
The dire need for a larger number of reservoirs for the country was emphasized by sharing the fact that Pakistan is currently only capable of conserving water worth 30 days.
IRSA further added that India, on the other hand, is capable of conserving water worth 320 days.
Construction of the Kalabagh Dam
The need to build the long over-due Kalabagh Dam was emphasized upon by bringing into light the current 36% shortage of water faced by the country. The meeting was told that it would take 5 years to build the dam.
A PCRWR member asked to consider the option to build Akhoori Dam which is thought of as an alternative to the Kalabagh dam.
Jahanzeb Jamaldini further emphasized on considering alternate options only “after three provinces have voted against” building the Kalabagh Dam.
Water Levels Severely Affected/The Country At Great Risk
Members of IRSA informed that crops may face severe degradation due to a decrease in the inflow of the rivers; Kabul, Jehlum, Indus, and Chenab.
Moreover, the officials were warned by members of IRSA regarding the decreasing water levels across the country especially in Balochistan and Islamabad. They added that water level has undergone an annual decrease of six meters in Balochistan and an annual decrease of one meter in Islamabad.
Pakistan remains without a National Water Policy, as 26 out of its 43 lakes have undergone a drastic decrease in water levels, warned the PCRWR members.