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Hub Dam’s revival to allay city’s water woes

Updated March 04, 2019

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“With the revival of this source, the areas, which had not been getting water for weeks, will get it on daily basis,” an official said. — AFP/File
“With the revival of this source, the areas, which had not been getting water for weeks, will get it on daily basis,” an official said. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The city’s thirsting western and central neighbourhoods will have a better summer after Hub Dam, they have been hooked up to, has started receiving ample rain and floodwater from its catchment areas to offer for the next two years at least, officials said on Sunday.

They said torrential rains in the catchment area of the dam, which falls in Balochistan and is located on the fringes of Sindh, had substantially increased the water level of the reservoir that had been offering dust for the past two years.

Hub Dam had witnessed no rains for years and its catchment areas were part of the years-long drought endured by the two provinces separated by the reservoir, which is key to solve the water woes of the city’s most populous western district and parts of Karachi central district.

Officials in the Sindh local government ministry said the floodwater had substantially raised the reservoir level by 70 feet to reach at 348 feet till Sunday. Hub Dam’s peak level is 396ft.

Officials at the LG ministry and the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board said a tangible increase in Hub Dam was enough to provide the required water to the city’s areas, which were hooked up to it and had been facing grave water shortages for the past many years.

The officials said the dam, with the maximum capacity of supplying 100mgd water to Karachi, could offer a continuous city-ward stream for at least next two years.

Officials at the meteorological office said various districts of Balochistan had received intense rains in the past many days that played havoc with the routine life and caused damage to human life and property and livestock were killed.

Hub Dam is also the main source of water for irrigation and industrial and domestic uses in Lasbella district.

The officials said the dam supplied 100mgd to Karachi and around 66mgd to Lasbella’s industrial town of Hub when it was filled with water.

“If it is fully filled it [the dam] can provide water to Karachi and Lasbella for three years,” said an official.

Officials said the reservoir’s level had dropped to 276ft until the recent downpour lashed the region.

The concerned authorities were using suction pumps to provide water to the areas hooked up to it for drinking water supply.

The officials in the Sindh government said households in the two districts of Karachi had been dependent on the rationed water supplies that had been carved out from other parts of the city because of a dead source at Hub.

“With the revival of this source, the areas, which had not been getting water for weeks, will get it on daily basis,” an official said.

He added the situation would also benefit the rest of the city, which would get back its water from going into West and Central districts.

“Overall, it will add up to 60mgd to our system, which is half of the city’s requirement.”

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2019