LAHORE: On the eve of World Water Day being observed around the world on Monday under the theme for 2021, “Valuing Water”, the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has pledged to add 11 million acre feet water to the gross storage of the country by completing eight mega water conservation and electricity generation projects in as many years.
“Cognisant of the value of water for survival of life as well as progress and prosperity of human beings, we are committed to optimal utilisation of the precious resource of water by constructing a number of projects,” a Wapda spokesman said in a press release issued on Sunday.
He said the projects being constructed under the aegis of Wapda were: Diamer-Bhasha Dam, Mohmand Dam, Kurram Tangi Dam (Stage-I), Nai Gaj Dam, Sindh Barrage, Dasu Hydropower Project (Stage-I), Tarbela 5th Extension and Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project. These projects are scheduled to be completed one by one from 2022 to 2028-29.
“Completion of these projects will cumulatively add about 11 million acre feet (MAF) to the gross water storage of the country, pushing it from 13MAF to 24MAF, sufficient to irrigate another 1.6 million acres of land,” said the spokesman. Besides, the installed hydropower generation capacity of Pakistan will be doubled to cross 18,000MW with an addition of 9,000MW. “Similarly, annual hydel generation will also surge to 73 billion units from 38 billion units with an increase of 35 billion units.”
Highlights details of eight projects to be completed in as many years
Giving details of the projects, the spokesman said: “Kurram Tangi Dam (Stage-I) located in North Waziristan tribal district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is likely to be completed in 2022. It will irrigate 16,000 acres of land and generate 18.9MW of electricity. Nai Gaj Dam, being constructed in Dadu district of Sindh, will be completed in 2024 with gross water storage (capacity) of 300,000 acre feet to irrigate 28,800 acres of land. Mohmand Dam, being constructed in Mohmand tribal district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is scheduled to be completed in 2025. It has gross water storage (capacity) of 1.2MAF and power generation capacity of 800MW. In addition to supplementing 160,000 million acres of existing land, this project will also irrigate 18,237 acres of new land.”
Similarly, the spokesman said: “Dasu Hydropower Project (Stage-I), to be completed in 2025, is being constructed in Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with an installed power generation (capacity) of 2,160MW. Tarbela 5th Extension Project, located in Haripur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, will be completed in 2026 and will generate 1,410MW electricity. Keyal Khwar, being constructed in Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is scheduled to be completed in 2026 with generation capacity of 128MW.
“Sindh Barrage, to be completed in 2026, will be constructed 180km downstream of Kotri Barrage in Sindh and will have a gross water storage of 2MAF to irrigate 150,000 acres of land. The super mega Diamer-Bhasha Dam, being constructed 40km downstream of Chilas town, is likely to be completed in 2028-29. The project will have a gross water storage (capacity) of 8.1MAF to irrigate 1.23 million acres of land and power generation (capacity) of 4500MW.”
Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2021