“Cognisant of the value of water for survival of life as well as progress and prosperity of human beings, we are committed to optimal utilisation of the precious resource of water by constructing a number of projects,” read a press release issued by WAPDA.
Diamer-Bhasha Dam, Mohmand Dam, Kurram Tangi Dam (Stage-I), Nai Gaj Dam, Sindh Barrage, Dasu Hydropower Project (Stage-I), Tarbela 5th Extension and Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project are the projects scheduled to be completed one by one from 2022 to 2028-29.
The announcement was made on the eve of World Water Day being observed around the world on Monday under the theme for 2021, “Valuing Water”.
Completion of these projects will cumulatively add about 11 million-acre feet (MAF) to the gross water storage of the country pushing it from 13 MAF to 24 MAF, sufficient to irrigate another 1.6 million acres of land in the country. The current water availability in Pakistan is quite erratic, mainly because of climate change and population growth both creating risks to the overall water availability.
In addition, the installed hydropower generation capacity of Pakistan will be doubled to cross 18,000 MW with an addition of 9000 MW. Similarly, annual hydel generation will also surge to 73 billion units from 38 billion units with an increase of 35 billion units. Kurram Tangi Dam (Stage-I) located in Tribal District North Waziristan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is likely to be completed in 2022. It will irrigate 16,000 acres of land and generation 18.9 MW.
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Nai Gaj Dam, being constructed in Dadu District of Sindh, will be completed in 2024 with gross water storage of 300,000-acre feet to irrigate 28,800 acres of land. Mohmand Dam, being constructed in Tribal District Mohmand of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is scheduled to be completed in 2025. It has gross water storage of 1.2 MAF and power generation capacity of 800 MW. In addition to supplementing 160,000 million acres of existing land, this project will also irrigate 18,237 acres of new land. Dasu Hydropower Project (Stage-I) to be completed in 2025, is being constructed in District Kohistan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with installed power generation of 2160 MW.
Tarbela 5th Extension Project located in District Haripur of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be completed in 2026 and will generate 1410 MW electricity. Keyal Khwar, being constructed in District Kohistan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is scheduled to be completed in 2026 with generation capacity of 128 MW.
Sindh Barrage to be completed in 2026 will be constructed 180-Km downstream of Kotri Barrage in Sindh and will have gross water storage of two MAF to irrigate 150,000 acres of land. The super mega Diamer Basha Dam, being constructed 40-Km downstream of Chilas town is likely to be completed in 2028-29. The project will have gross water storage of 8.1 MAF to irrigate 1.23 million acres of land and power generation of 4500 MW.
Pakistan being a water-stressed country-needs drastic steps to improve its water situation and the best way meet the challenge of climate change is to build as many large and small water storages as possible.