After 30 years, Islamabad to get water share from Rawal Dam

Published October 14, 2020
Islamabad has not taken its share of water from the dam since 1992. — File photo
Islamabad has not taken its share of water from the dam since 1992. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: After a gap of 30 years, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has decided to obtain four million gallons per day (MGD) of water from Rawal Dam to meet the requirements of at least two residential sectors in the capital.

CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed said that the civic authority used to get water from Rawal Dam in the past, but stopped a long time ago.

“We are planning to get our approved share from this dam again,” he said, adding: “My entire team, including board members, have been working on this project. Today members also visited an abandoned treatment plant to see how it can be fixed to treat dam water for Islamabad again.”

He told Dawn that before next summer, water from Rawal Dam will be added to Islamabad’s water supply system.

Abandoned treatment plant to be fixed to treat dam water

The abandoned CDA water treatment plant is located near the Polo Club on Garden Avenue. Until 1992, the civic authority used this plant to treat water from Rawal Dam.

The dam, which was built in Islamabad, provides water exclusively to Rawalpindi. But sources in the CDA said there is a fixed quota of 4MGD of water for Islamabad as well.

They said the capital had not taken its share of water from the dam since 1992 because of negligence by the authority.

Islamabad has been hit by water scarcity. The city has a total requirement of 220MGD, but only 65MDG is provided to its residents from three sources – Simly Dam, Khanpur Dam and tubewells.

Sources said the CDA used to obtain 2MGD until 1992, but stopped taking the water after reports that the dam was contaminated.

However, Rawalpindi has regularly received water from the dam.

They said that during a meeting on Monday, when the CDA chairman asked the water supply directorate about water sources, he was told that in addition to other sources the civic body also had an approved quota of 4MGD from Rawal Dam and an exclusive treatment plant facility near the Polo Ground that has been abandoned since 1992.

The sources said Mr Ahmed directed the water supply directorate to explore options to utilise the plant again and asked why the CDA did not get water from the dam at a time when Islamabad is facing an acute water shortage. He also directed board members to visit the plant so it could be fixed.

The treatment plant has a capacity to treat 2MGD of water. Although it is not functional, its water tanks are being used to store some water from Simly Dam that is later pumped to nearby areas.

Once the share of water is received and the plant is functional, sectors I-8, I-9 and I-10 will be supplied water from the plant, sources said.

They said Mr Ahmed also told the directorate that another treatment plant would be established if necessary.

The water supply directorate was placed under the CDA’s control after four years with the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad.

CDA Member Engineering Ayaz Khan said: “We are planning to get our due share from Rawal Dam, and are also making attempts to improve the supply to Islamabad overall to prevent a shortage in the summer.

Mr Khan visited the treatment plant and was briefed by officials from the water supply directorate.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2020

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