ISLAMABAD: The 18th Amendment aggravated the water crisis in the country, according to a report by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), a local media outlet reported on Thursday.
“No tangible initiative has been taken by provinces to develop water storages,” said the report, adding that in addition to devolution, other issues have also impacted the availability of water.
The per capita avaialability of water declines from 5,000 cubic metres to 1,000 cubic metres from 1950’s to now as in June this year, Tarbela and Mangla reached dead levels.
The federal government has also failed to resolve differences between the provinces over the distribution of net hydel profits with provincial government also unwilling to impose water taxes.
In addition, grants to WAPDA for the development of reservoirs have also declined since 2002.
With the devolution of water ministry to the provinces, bureaucratic hurdles have also emerged regarding water management.
Distribution of water between Sindh and Balochistan is also particularly complicated.
Out of the 100,000 cusecs of water released to Sindh, 15,000 to 20,000 cusecs of water gets wasted till reaching the Chashma-Taunsa and Guddu barrages,” said Ministry of Water Resources Federal Flood Commission Head Ahmad Kamal
An officials from the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) said that confusion has been created between the two provinces as figures regarding water varied at different levels.
According to Leads CEO Tauqeer Sheikh, the provinces are primarily behind the water crisis and it is unfair to blame the 18th Amendment over the issue.
In addition, he said that the provinces currently do not have organisations like WAPDA and there is no system for the collection and monitoring of groundwater.