Islamabad, October 19, 2018 (PPI-OT): His Excellency Dr. Arif Alvi, President Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Chief Justice of Pakistan
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Umar Ata Bandial
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan
Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court and high court of Pakistan
Distinguished guests, eminent speakers, ladies and gentlemen,
Eminent Experts from World Over
Ladies and Gentleman’s
Assalam-o-Alaikum and Good afternoon
It’s an incredible privilege to be part of this unique and August Symposium steered by Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan,
My heart goes out in gratitude to Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan and his wonderful Committee which has set up this intellectual communion of galaxy of Experts and stakeholders.
This is the most encouraging reminder of the realization of threat to our human security.
I think you again for your time and commitment to this vital national cause
Three fundamental revolutions have shaped the history of mankind phenomenally ever since.
Cognitive revolutions which started 70,000 years ago with advent of concept of history.
Agricultural revolution of about 12,000 years ago.
And the scientific and technological revolution of 500 years before, which in fact may end the history.
Contrary to general understanding, agricultural revolution generally left lives more difficult and less satisfying than those of erstwhile hunters in the forests who had less danger of starvation and disease. Agriculture definitely enlarged the sum total of food produced but extra food at the disposal of human being did not translate into better diet and leisure of life. Rather into a population explosion and pampered elite.
Continuous ecological degradation and the reality of climate change are shaping the new global profile with human beings still competing for possession of more resources. Resource insecurity is caused not by hostile forces alone but humanity’s production and consumption patterns.
Geopolitics today has greater over tones of hydro politics. The strategic rivalries in 21st century would Centre on issues related to trade, investment, technological innovation but the increasing threat of water resource could easily put the focus on territorial dispute.
Sharper resource competition could escalate conflict over territory more importantly in South Asia since the water has emerged as a key issue to underpin, peace and stability. This seems more apparent when seen through the aggressive behaviours of Indian both political and military leadership.
In a fundamentally competitive world marked by aggressive pursuits of gains, India continues to squeeze water resources of Pakistan in clear violation of IWT both in its spirit and facts. Indian aggressive and ambitious inter river water transfer projects of various kind and large number of illegal hydropower projects on Western Rivers are pushing Pakistan to its limit of survival.
Having entered the era of perennial water shortages, Pakistan faces the serious threat to its food security and economic growth.
Pakistan’s Water Profile
Today water has come to haunt Pakistan as we see deepening water crises made as much as of adversaries as of our own making. The sins of omission than commission, our failure to harness the resources and absence of institutionalized, integrated water management has brought us to the current impasse.
Right from the outset at the time of independence, Pakistan’s hydraulic economy faced and surmounted three massive challenges.
The first challenges was political in nature which arose because line of partition left the head works like Madhupur and Ferozepur in India with a large infrastructure in central and southern Punjab without any water resources.
The second challenge was hydrological in nature to alter the natural flow regime from western river to eastern infrastructure.
This lead to third challenge of Economic impact for handling the twin curse of water logging and salinity.
Pakistani engineers with support of international experts measured up to challenges and achieved the marvels of two largest dams of that time, five barrages, seven link canals and second largest grid station of Asia after Japan.
Population explosion of over two hundred million, absence of any new reservoirs, inadequate conservation and management strategy, now results in a less inspiring water profile of Pakistan.
Pakistan has been degraded from water abundant country to scarce country in view of massive population growth, insufficient water storage and poor management mechanism.
Minimum storage of fresh water of only ten percent of 145 MAF and only 30 day’s carryover capacity much lower than the world average makes it a water insecure country.
A high risk water environment dependent of single river basin has little robustness as against countries having multiple basins.
Wastage of annual fresh water worth millions of dollars and large scale de-gradation of resource base due to salinity and sediment is further taxing the limited storage capacity.
Ground water is now being over exploited in many areas and quality is deteriorating leading to a large percentage of salt water.
Whereas large part of Pakistan has good soil, abundant sunshine and able farmers yet crop yields are much lower. The quality of water service and irrigation practices play major role, this must improve phenomenally.
Poor governance and eroding intuitions lead to inequitable distribution of water, poor technical performance and an environment of inter and intra provincial mistrust and conflicts with much serious implications.
Yet Pakistan has the potential and the treasure of
Exceedingly successful experience of Indus Replacement Works.
There is a great scope for water productivity increase in view of
Extensive irrigation infrastructure a blessing indeed
We must design our solutions in line with our geography of high gradient which imposes constraints besides advantages, the climate which restricts 80% of water flow to just three months and the growing demographic needs providing compelling reasons for water storage and conservation.
This entails building dams at a fast pace, more aggressive water infrastructure maintenance regimes, effective water-conserving technologies and methods, and raising public awareness through effective advocacy and most of all putting a rational price on agricultural and municipal usage.
There is a growing need to achieve consensus on water related issues with regulatory framework for efficient and sustainable utilization of underground water, industrial uses and waste water management.
Policy, entrepreneur and technology interface is need of the hour. Policy initiative using cutting edge technologies intervention is the need of the hour to address this issue. We need to use innovative technology, good interface with entrepreneur and policy.
Honourable Chief Justice’s intervention at this critical juncture for timely and urgent commencement of projects of Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dam is a turning point in our water history wherein equally focused and committed Federal Govt. support is the dawn of a new era.
Pakistan is fully poised to commence construction of two of its reservoirs.
Diamer – Basha Dam site is located across Indus River Near Chilas (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit- Baltistan), 315 km u/s from Tarbela Dam and about 40 Km downstream of Chilas Town. The dam of 272 meter height will provide a reservoir with live storage of 6.4 MAF which will be utilized for supplementing the irrigation water to Indus Basin and hydropower generation of 18,097 GWh per annum with the help of hydropower plant installed capacity of 4500 MW.
Mohmand Dam site is proposed to be constructed on Swat River about 5 km upstream of Munda Head Works in tribal district, Mohmand of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The dam of 213 meter height will provide a reservoir with live storage of 0.676 MAF which will be utilized for irrigation of new command area of 16,737 acres, water supply to Peshawar, hydropower generation of 2,864 GWh per annum with installed capacity of 800 MW besides mitigating floods in Peshawar valley.
In Pakistan WAPDA stands out as an organization which represents the best option for sustainable development of water infrastructure and to ensure that the process of development continues unabated. WAPDA’s experience in implementing multipurpose mega hydel project gives it a clear advantage as the only formidable entity which can steer Pakistan out of impending water threat keeping in mind the rich experience, professionalism and institutional mechanism.
What WAPDA Engineers have been able to achieve in recently past – will share with you in clip for couple of minutes.
For more information, contact:
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, G-5/2,