Senators for devising water management system to overcome crisis

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 9 (APP): Senators on Monday highlighted the rapidly decreasing ground water table in the country and called for devising a water management system with building new water reservoirs to overcome the issue.
Talking part in the discussion in the Senate, Chaudhry Tanvir Khan said the country could face water crisis in coming days as the ground water table was rapidly decreasing. In 1947, 50,600 cubic feet water per head was available which had now decreased to 1,000 cubic feet per head, he added.
He said the water situation in Balochistan was more alarming as compared to the other parts of the country.
According to international standard, he said, a country should store water for 90 days usage but Pakistan had storage capacity of only 30 days.
He stressed on the need to construct maximum small dams and underlined the importance of steps to stop water wastage.
Mir Kabir said the whole country was facing water shortage but the ground water table in Balochistan had gone down from 45 feet to 900 feet.
He said the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) had planned to construct eight dams in Balochistan in 2008-9 but no practical work started on these projects.
Usman Khan Kakar said the annual water consumption in Balochistan was two million cubic feet. Most of the rain water went waste due to lack of planning, he added.
The ground water table in Quetta had also gone down to 1500 feet, he added.
He urged the government to prepare a master plan to construct water reservoirs.
Mohsan Khan Laghari said there was a need to take steps on emergency basis for tackling the water crisis.
He said around 1.2 million tube wells were being operated in Punjab province. Ground water table in Lahore was 500 feet, he said adding that there was no proper water management system in the country. Legislation should be done to overcome water wastage, he said.
Abdul Qayyum said the government should make planning for the construction of small and mega dams in the country.
A committee should be made to monitor water situation in the provinces and launch an awareness campaign to save the commodity, he added.
Sardar Azam Khan Mosakhail said the ground water table in the country had gone down from 30 feet to hundreds of feet due to lack of planning. There was a need to devise a comprehensive strategy for overcoming the problem, he added.
Nehal Hashmi said provision of water had been made a business in urban areas. Work on several mega dams could not be started timely, he said, adding services of expert people should be hired to overcome the issue.
Ayesha Raza said excessive usage, wastage and increasing population was the main cause of the water shortage in the country. Alternative crops should be grown in Pakistan to save maximum water, she added.
Tahir Hussain Mashhadi said there was need to modernize the system of agriculture and irrigation in Pakistan to save water. Wastage of water by domestic users should also be controlled.
The government should release funds for several water schemes, he said adding that a water management system should be introduced.
Mohsin Aziz said that water recharge system should be introduced in provinces to control the decreasing ground water table.
He said the government should also impose water charges to stop the wastage of water.
Mukhtar Ahmed Dhamra said small dams should be constructed to store maximum water across the country. The water crisis could be more alarming in coming days if concrete steps were not taken, he warned.
Senator Kalsoom Parveen said the ground water table had gone down to 800 feet in her province. The government should raise the water dispute with India at international level, she added.