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ICCI calls upon Government to build more dams to avert terrible water crises

Islamabad ,August 31, (online): The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has called upon the government to focus on building more small and large dams to ensure sustainable economic growth of the country as the rising water crisis in Pakistan has the potential to hamper economic growth and threaten all aspects of the national economy.

Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Pakistan was among the world’s 36 most water-stressed countries and if proper planning was not done right now for water conservation, the situation would worsen with the increase in population.

He said it was a pity that the current total dam storage capacity of the country was to meet only 30 days of average demand compared to 1,000 for Egypt and 220 for India. He said Pakistan has built only three mega dams and scores of small barrages since 1947 while China and India have constructed 22,000 and 4,200 small and large dams respectively to meet their water needs.

President said per capita water storage in the US stood at 6,150 cubic meters, in Australia at 5,000 cubic meters, but in Pakistan it was only 135 cubic meters, which showed that Pakistan was highly vulnerable in terms of water storage capacity.

He urged that according to IMF estimates, demand for water in Pakistan was projected to reach 274 million acre-feet (MAF) by 2025 while due to lack of water storage facilities, supply was expected to remain stagnant at 191 MAF showing a demand-supply gap of 83 MAF. This situation called for construction of more water reservoirs to save the country from a terrible water crisis.