More water storage is the need of time: WADPA chief

A delegation of National Security Workshop, National Defence University (NDU) Islamabad led by Maj Gen Muhammad Samrez Salik, visited WAPDA House. WAPDA Chairman briefed the delegation about the water scenario and development projects of WAPDA in water and hydropower sectors. Member (Finance), Member (Power) and other senior officers were also present on the occasion. Chairman briefed the delegation that WAPDA plans to add 2 MAF to water storage capacity up to 2023 in short term, 18 MAF up to 2030 in medium term and another 23 MAF up to 2050 in long term. WAPDA has already added 2487 megawatt (MW) hydel electricity to the National Grid by completing Golen Gol, Neelum Jhelum, and Tarbela 4th Extension hydropower projects. It plans to add 4582 MW up to 2023 and another 16180 MW up to 2030.

The per capita water availability in the country has come down from 5650 cubic meter in 1951 to an alarming level of 908 cubic meters per annum, pushing us to the stage of water-scarce country. Pakistan can store only 10 per cent of its annual river flows, while the average water storage capacity all over the world stands at 40 per cent.

The live water storage capacity that was 16.26 million acre feet (MAF) in 1976 has decreased to 13.68 MAF, which equals to a meager 30 days carry over capacity. India has carried over capacity of 170 days, Egypt 700 days and America 900 days. The construction work on two multi-purpose mega projects namely Mohmand Dam and Diamer Bhasha Dam will start in 2019. Both projects have cumulative live water storage capacity of 7.07 MAF and power generation capacity of 5300 MW.
At the end of the visit NDU delegation head and WAPDA Chairman exchanged souvenirs.