An open letter to WAPDA


With a few recommendations to improve operations

The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is a government-owned public utility, which manages and maintains power and water resources in Pakistan. WAPDA’s mandate stands to be the development of the water and hydropower resources in the country. It is striving hard to utilise the water and hydropower resources in the country efficiently for generating affordable and persistent power supply for its customers.

“WAPDA Water Vision 2025” is a visionary objective set by WAPDA, which is a $25-33 billion National Water Resource and HydroPower Development Programme aiming at the generation of 16,000 MW of electricity. Besides that, it aims at controlling drought, preventing water scarcity and meeting the water requirements for an ever-increasing population. This comprehensive development program calls for completion of five hydropower projects by 2016 with a capacity of 9500 MW. At present, 16 hydroelectric projects under WAPDA Water Vision 2025 are expected to be online by 2020 in order to tackle the severe energy and water crisis.

The water and hydel power projects of WAPDA especially those set under WAPDA WATER VISION 2025 are indeed dynamic programs and should prove useful amidst the accelerating water and energy crisis the country is facing. However, these projects can only reap their projected success provided the formation of sound and stringent strategies by those responsible for their management, and provided that the governing bodies of WAPDA strive to improve its operations.

It is required for the management of WAPDA to chalk out effective plans and strategies for improvement of its operations with hindsight. They must make efforts to consider the challenges expected to arise in the future from an increasing population. The Chairman of WAPDA, Mr Zafar Mahmood has emphasised on numerous occasions for an intensive research on the water resources, and its preservation for the future generations of the country. There is a need for the management to collaborate with think tanks, and higher educational institutions to prepare pragmatic and effective strategies based on mutual consensus; for efficient allocation of water resources for the future.

WAPDA should continue developing strong collaboration with higher educational institutions for improvement of its operations. Recently, WAPDA signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with higher educational institutions to address the need for effective allocation of water resources. One of the prominent MOUs signed by WAPDA is with Sindh Agriculture University, which is renowned in researching strategies to fulfill improved water allocation for agricultural purposes specifically. Its Vice Chancellor, Dr Mujeebudin Memon, identified at a meeting that 50% of water reserves were wasted due to improper management, and there stands a need to keep a vigilant check to avoid this water wastage. This calls for WAPDA’s managing bodies to effectively collaborate with higher educational institutions continuously, which can provide well-researched solutions for improving the water allocation for different economic sectors.

Other higher educational institutions with which WAPDA has recently signed MOU comprise Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro, and Agriculture University Faisalabad. These institutions can also offer enormous help to WAPDA in formulating frameworks to ensure adequate allocation of water resources for irrigation, domestic, health and agricultural purposes, and to avoid water wastage. A long term collaboration with such higher educational institutions should be encouraged by the top authorities of WAPDA to encourage an inflow of well-researched strategies for an improvement of allocation of its water resources and to ensure its smooth operations.

The governing structure of WAPDA also needs to be regulated to ensure its effective operations. WAPDA currently is characterised with several institutional and organisational anomalies, which impedes its optimal resource allocation. Such weaknesses comprise a weak governance structure marked by corruption and bribery, which hinders fair decision making on tariffs and distribution. Its non-optimal power tariffs are a direct result of not being based on the long run marginal cost rather they are used as a tool to meet political targets. Inefficient tariffs are also attributed to lack of competition in the distribution of power.

These factors are detrimental to smooth operations of WAPDA. These inevitably require WAPDA’s managing authorities to identify the shortcomings, and to rectify them quickly for establishing fair regulatory practices. A stringent analysis, and intellectual efforts can aid in establishing an effective governance framework of WAPDA, which can keep a timely check and balance in its operations.

Controlling power pilferage is another measure required to be adopted by WAPDA for improvement of its operations. Power theft cases have been registered against the electricity pilferers to take due action against them. This is likely to remove the defects and faults in the transmission and distribution system of WAPDA in the long run.

The managing authorities of WAPDA should oversee the proposed plans of power transmission and distribution with due vigilance to ensure their timely implementation. For instance, the recent proposed plan of ending overloading at all power transformers region of FESCO by 2017,as announced by FESCO’s Chief Executive Officer should be closely monitored, and supervised by the concerned authorities at WAPDA to ensure its timely implementation.

The above-mentioned measures offer a few recommendations for WAPDA to improve its electricity production, transmission, distribution and other related operations. These if implemented effectively can achieve long-term success in its operations.


  1. Nothing's impossible if one is determined positively to serve the national cause. Sincerity & devotion are the conditions to be met. The State should be the first preference as all the services are created for the welfare of the nation.
    So, trust in One&Only One Allah, following The Prophet Mohammad,Sallallaho Alaihe wa Aalehe Wasallam, and devotion for the Ummah will make us progressively succeed.

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