Neglected today, ancient ponds could help overcome water shortage

Published February 25, 2019
A large ancient pond and banyan tree remain a landmark of the Dariala Sehgan village in Gujar Khan tehsil. — Dawn
A large ancient pond and banyan tree remain a landmark of the Dariala Sehgan village in Gujar Khan tehsil. — Dawn

GUJAR KHAN: Ponds have been an important method of storing rainwater for much of human civilisation, and in rural parts of the Potohar region were considered an essential part of a village or a small locality.

Under the Mughals and other ancient rules, the Potohar region was dotted with small and large ponds, banyan and peepal trees at their banks. They were used for washing and bathing, for cattle and for recreation. Some of these ponds remain, in spite of neglect by current administrations.

Fishery was also availed as an additional activity in villages. Daultala town had four large ponds with well paved banks that were visited by residents all day, and people would swim there in the summer.

According to local agriculture officer Shahzad Mumtaz, keeping these ponds filled with sufficient rainwater also benefits the groundwater table in nearby areas. In addition, these ponds have a positive influence on the weather, curtailing severe hot weather and allowing plantations nearby to flourish.

Mr Mumtaz noted that since these ponds have fallen out of use, a large number of town residents have faced an acute water shortage. Meanwhile the nearby Nata village overcame a water shortage by building a pond; in the past, they would fetch water from other localities.

Dawn has observed that the increase and spread of people and unplanned construction has destroyed the catchments of these ancient dams.

Rainwater now drains directly into nullahs and drains, and encroachments of public land as well as a lack of managements also lets rainwater got to waste.

The result has been an acute water shortage, particularly in rain-irrigated areas.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2019

Opinion

Editorial

The whole truth
28 Sep, 2022

The whole truth

THE war on truth has never been more relentless than it is today. Authoritarianism is on the rise and purveyors of...
Real-world trolls
Updated 28 Sep, 2022

Real-world trolls

It's reprehensible how PTI supporters now seem convinced that politicians from opposing camps aren't entitled to basic dignity.
Islamabad wildlife
28 Sep, 2022

Islamabad wildlife

PRESERVING biodiversity is low on the list of priorities of both state and society. However, successful attempts at...
Noon leaks
Updated 27 Sep, 2022

Noon leaks

PMO audio leaks are a national security emergency that ought to be investigated at the highest level.
Cipher probe offer
27 Sep, 2022

Cipher probe offer

CONSIDERING the toxic political polarisation in the country, former prime minister Imran Khan’s suggestion that ...
Delaying Doha plans
27 Sep, 2022

Delaying Doha plans

WHEN Doha announced its intention to spend $3bn in different commercial and investment sectors of Pakistan around a...