Trade: (ICCI urges urgent water banking to save Pakistan from drought)

November 7, 2015 Off By Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Sunday said government should establish water banks to save country from looming drought and ensure water security.

Water resources are rapidly plummeting decreasing per capita water availability has by 80 percent since 1951 while no mega water storage project has been constructed after the completion of the Tarbela Dam despite availability of lot of sites including Kalabagh, said Atif Ikram Sheikh, President ICCI.

Climate change has disturbed pattern of rainfall in the country while overdependence on groundwater has reduced its level to alarming limits which must be noticed, he added.

He said the existing dams have limited capacity to store water which has resulted in lack of cheap electricity, limited protection from floods and inadequate water for masses, agriculture and industry and situation is getting serious by the passage of time.

He said whole country is increasingly coming under extreme water strain but the situation in Balochistan is much more critical where groundwater shortage has reached catastrophic proportions.

He said some reports blame excessive groundwater utilisation by mining industry while federal and provincial government continue to blame each other for the situation without realising the gravity of the situation.

The ICCI president said the depletion of groundwater resources have little to do with the climate and much more to do with the scale of irresponsible water consumption throughout the country and Balochistan province.

Government must build recharge reservoirs, intercept and flood water at catchment areas to recharge ground water, build mall dams, and ensure consensus on big dams, he proposed.