ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) in Islamabad has proposed the mandatory construction of recharge wells for rainwater harvesting in a bid to replenish groundwater reserves.
The proposal was submitted to the CDA’s building control section by the water management deputy director general, Sardar Khan Zimri, who suggested amendments to existing by-laws.
These would make it mandatory for all house owners to construct recharge wells alongside the already mandatory water tanks.
The recharge wells will help recharge the underground water table, and CDA hopes to address the annual depletion rate of at least four feet.
Notably, Islamabad is a water-scarce city, mainly due to rapid population growth resulting from urbanization and migration from other parts of the country.
This issue has been ignored by the CDA for years, and since the construction of Khanpur Dam in the 1990s, no new sources of water have been explored.
Currently, Islamabad requires 220 million gallons per day (mgd) water, while the CDA only provides 70mgd, and this need is set to increase due to new housing projects.
The deputy director general said that rainwater harvesting alone through recharge wells is not a solution to the city’s water problems. Therefore, CDA needs to focus on resolving the issue, especially since new housing schemes and apartment buildings continue to mushroom in the city without any focus on water needs.
It is important to mention that the proposed regulations would require homeowners to construct recharge wells and water tanks as part of their house construction process.
However, at present, homeowners are only bound to have water tanks, but these by-laws are not enforced.
It has also been shared that the construction of recharge wells has already helped increase the underground water table in parks in various areas.
Furthermore, an official from the CDA highlighted the importance of addressing the water issue before it becomes an imminent problem. Failure to do so will result in a scarcity of water in the capital city in the coming years.