IRSA warns Senate forum against impending water shortage in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: Indus River System Authority (IRSA) painted a gloomy picture of the water conservation situation in the country in front of Senate Forum for Policy Research on Thursday and stated that approximately $21 billion worth of water was wasted each year.

In a meeting of the forum, chaired by Nayyar Husain Bukhari, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR)and IRSA members bemoaned the lack of water conservation strategies in the country and expressed an immediate need to build at least three Mangla- sized dams to conserve the water being dumped into the sea.

It was revealed during the meeting that Pakistan currently faces a 36 per cent water shortage and if no water reservoirs were constructed in near future, the situation would further exasperate. Furthermore, PCRWR members warned that water levels throughout the country were at an all-time low and that out of 43 lakes in Pakistan, the levels of 26 have dropped drastically in the past few years, while the country remains without a National water policy.

IRSA members endorsed the long-overdue creation of Kalabagh Dam and stated that it could be completed in five years and that Akhoori Dam could also be developed as an alternative to Kalabagh.

The forum acknowledged the need to start working on water conservation strategies and deemed the current situation as highly worrying.