LAHORE: In a bid to save water, the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) has launched a new management plan for the provincial capital, Pakistan Today has learnt. Under the new plan, citizens would have to face a shortage of up to 20 gallons of water per capita every day.
Several public and private organisations have warned time and again regarding the looming issue of water scarcity. Reports suggest that if the situation persists, the country might start facing a water crisis by the year 2025 and it might worsen by 2040 if necessary steps are not taken.
WASA is responsible to provide water in areas that fall under the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), including housing societies and other localities. To provide water, the agency relies on groundwater that is abstracted through WASA’s 550 tube-wells installed in different areas of the city.
Sources privy to the development informed Pakistan Today that WASA had to take this step after the pressure on agency, regarding wastage of water in the city, was increased by media and civil society.
“The decision was taken in a high-level meeting of WASA officials with other departments concerned last month,” they said, adding that prior to the new plan, WASA tube-wells were running for 18 hours per day on an average but now the time had been reduced to 12 hours per day.
They said that through these tube-wells, the average supply of water was 70 gallons per capita per day but now under the new plan the supply had been decreased to 50 gallons per capita. They continued that before the implementation of the plan, WASA conducted surveys throughout the city regarding water usage.
“The water management plan will also help in saving power,” said sources and added that the basic purpose of the enforcement of the plan was to save groundwater. To a question, they said that the new plan had come into force on October 1 but WASA had not announced it yet so that citizens do not panic.
WASA spokesperson Imtiaz Ghauri, while speaking to Pakistan Today, confirmed that the new plan had been implemented. He said that rescheduling the water plan was the only way to cope with the looming threat of water scarcity.
Ghauri was of the view that through this plan, citizens would not face any shortage. “They might not be comfortable with the schedule at first but things will fall in place after some time,” he added.