PARADIGM SHIFT NEEDED IN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM: WAPDA CHAIRMAN
 

PARADIGM SHIFT NEEDED IN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM: WAPDA CHAIRMAN

April 01, 2019: A delegation of the Command and Staff College Quetta today visited WAPDA House Lahore. During the visit, the delegation was briefed about the water scenario and development projects of WAPDA in water and hydropower sectors.
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Highlighting the challenges and issues faced by Pakistan in water sector, WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (Retd) briefed the delegation that per capita water availability in the country has come down from 5260 cubic meter in 1951 to an alarming level of 908 cubic meter per annum, pushing us to the stage of water-scarce country. Pakistan can store only 10 per cent of its annual river flows against the world average of 40 per cent. Ironically, instead of increasing water storage capacity, Pakistan has lost about one-fourth storage of the dams. The live water storage capacity that used to be 16.26 million acre feet (MAF) in 1976 has reduced to 13.68 MAF, which equals to only 30 days carry over capacity. India has carry over capacity of 170 days, Egypt 700 days and America 900 days.          

WAPDA Chairman said that sustainable long-term plan is needed to thwart the looming water crisis and improve the ratio of low-cost hydel electricity in Pakistan. “A major paradigm shift to the existing development mechanism in Pakistan is direly needed to improve the water situation and handle the monster of circular debt. There has to be a home-grown engineering expertise coupled with innovative financial models with less dependence on the Government and efficient yet swift planning and approval processes for implementation of the project. The carry over water storage capacity has to be increased from 30 days to 120 days. Likewise, the ratio of low-cost hydel electricity also requires to be drastically improved”, said the Chairman.

Dilating upon the vision for construction of dams and hydropower projects, the Chairman shared with the delegation that WAPDA plans to add two MAF to water storage capacity and 828 megawatt (MW) hydropower generation capacity up to 2025 in short term, another eight MAF water storage and 5653 MW power generation up to 2030 in medium term and 28 MAF water storage and 6245 MW generation capacity up to 2050 in long term with completion of its various projects. Contract for Mohmand Dam Hydropower Project has been awarded and construction work on the project is about to start, while work on Diamer Basha Dam will also commence this year.

The delegation was also briefed about impact of climate change on water resources, water management challenges, water conservation and hydropower potential of the country.

WAPDA Chairman also responded to the queries raised by the delegation during question-answer session. Later, Command and Staff College delegation head and WAPDA Chairman exchanged souvenirs as memento to the visit.
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