Sunday, April 11, 2010

Water Crises in Islamabad

The gap between the available amount of water and its demand has widened to the record level of 100,000 million gallons per day. It has created a crisis-like situation for the Capital Development Authority (CDA), sources told this scribe here on Sunday. 

The light rains brought some kind of relief for civic managers, but they were of the view that only heavy rains could enable them to reduce the gap between demand and supply of drinking water. Sources said that the concerned authorities are on their toes as the available amount of water is 50,000 million gallons per day and demand has risen to 150,000 million gallons per day, ultimately making it impossible to even meet the requirements of half of the residents. 

Sources further said that the dry spell and unending electricity loadshedding have made most tubewells dysfunctional and the civic authority is finding no way to get out of the critical situation. 

Sources said that the level of water in Khanpur Dam has reduced to 30 feet and the situation is not so different with regard to Simli Dam where there is only 32 feet of water. 

The most badly affected areas where supply of tapped water has reduced to the lowest level include sectors G-6, G-7, G-8, G-9 and I-10.

When contacted, CDA Director General (Water Management) Sanaullah Aman said: “It can be rightly said that we are facing severe difficulties to cope with the situation as the gap between available water and demand has jumped up to an unprecedented level. Rains can recharge the waterbeds in the catchments areas so the situation is unlikely to change unless there are more rains in the coming weeks. But we are trying to manage within available amount of water.” 

Referring to increase in power loadshedding, he said that the situation has further worsened, as they cannot utilise the full strength of their tubewells due to unavailability of electricity for hours. “Now we have paid a handsome amount to the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) for installation of express feeder that would enable us to operate 30 tubewells without any interruption,” he said. 

Sanaullah Aman said that control rooms and inquiry centres are working round the clock and all available tankers are supplying water on the basis of complaints filed by residents in their respective complaint centres.

He said that an international firm has been given the task to ensure safe and clean drinking water at filtration plants in line with the World Health Organisation standards, adding that the decision was taken after surfacing of complaints about quality of water at filtration plants.

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