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Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar chaired a meeting to review the progress on MOU signed between CDA and Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) here in Islamabad on Tuesday. The agreement was signed on 8th July 2021. Special Assistant to PM on CDA Ali Nawaz Awan, Chairman CDA, Chairman PCRWR, DC Islamabad, and senior officials of relevant departments attended the meeting.
Chairman PCRWR briefed the meeting on the water supply issues not only in Islamabad sectors but also in suburban areas of the entire ICT region. He informed that at the end of this year they will complete the feasibility study for identifying the flow of water and where ponds can be made for capturing water from streams in order to raise the underground water level. Similarly, recharge wells and water supply tube wells will also be completed in the current financial year.
Addressing the meeting, Federal Minister Asad Umar said that the citizens of Islamabad are suffering from a water shortage. The current average demand of Islamabad of 246 MGD, right now the major water supply sources are Simly and Khanpur Dams plus 194 tube wells while the current supply is 80 MGD. He said that the groundwater is falling rapidly and has dropped to the lowest levels.
He further added that another project for carrying water from Ghazi Barotha is in the pipeline. The Ghazi Barotha project will initially provide 100 million gallons of water to the citizens of Islamabad. In the meantime, before this project is completed in 3 to 4 years, immediate steps are needed to reduce the water shortage in Islamabad. Therefore, this short-term project for raising the water table has been planned. This project is being prioritized and its feasibility study will be completed by the end of this year. The Minister said that this initiative will provide additional water supply to the citizens of Islamabad before next summer.
Minister for Planning also appreciated the efforts of PCRWR regarding rainwater harvesting for groundwater recharge in ICT. Moreover, he emphasized setting up the field activities and completing a comprehensive water resource assessment in the entire ICT by December 2021.