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ESSAY ON WATER & ENERGY CRISIS IN PAKISTAN

1. INTRODUCTION:
Water is precious, use it wisely says a notice placed in the bathroom of a five star hotel in
Karachi. There could not be a sounder piece of advice but it should be given not only to the
guests of the five star hotels but also to the entire citizenry of Pakistan. Pakistan is rapidly
moving to the situation when it will begin to be ranked among the countries that have
severe shortages of fresh water. Wise use of this precious resource is one way of dealing
with this crisis.
Man is a pre-eminently an animal good at gadgets. Man uses water much in the same way
as other animals; he has to drink it constantly, washes in it frequently, and drowns in it
occasionally probably oftener than other terrestrial vertebrates. Without water, he dies as
miserably as any other beast and with too much of it, as in floods, he is equally unable to
cope. However, he excels other animals in that he has learned to utilize waterpower.
There are three basic uses of water in the modern civilization agriculture, industry and
human consumption. Using water wisely in these three uses is one way of saving the
country from economic and social disaster.
Water is one of the most important natural resource and the major driving force for the
economy of Pakistan. Only a few decades ago, Pakistan was considered to have abundance
of good quality water. Now, however, in many other area of the world, population growth,
economic development, rapid urbanization and industrialization, are applying continuous
pressure on the already limited water resources of Pakistan.
Pakistan is now towards a serious shortage of water. In 1951, per capita surface water
availability for irrigation was estimated at 5650 cubic metres; this declined sharply to only
1350 cubic metres per head in 2002. The minimum amount that should be available is 1000
cubic metres. 2012, Pakistan will have reached the stage of acute water shortage.
2. CURRENT SITUATION IN PAKISTAN:
3. WORLD BANK REPORT:
Pakistan has exhausted its current water capability and needs to take immediate measure
to sustain its water-driven economy.
Pakistan only stores 30 days of river water. India stores 120 to 220 days, Colorado River
in the US stores 900 days.
Pakistans per capita water storage is just 150 cubic meters while that of China is 2200,
Australia 5000 and the US is 5000.
Pakistans economy can only be propelled into future only through building new water
projects and canals.
4. WATER VISION 2016:
President Musharraf said,
Water and energy are matters of life and death for us. We have to build all dams. We have
lagged far behind and have to work at a fast pace to catch up with the rest of the world.
We are facing an existing water shortage by 9 million-acre feet and by 2020 this short fall
will be up to 20 maf. Constructing two to three dams is inevitable for us by the year 2020.
By building mega water reservoirs our canals will become perennial and no longer be
seasonal. New reservoirs will generate 10000 mw of power, which would certainly bring
down the rate of electricity. One dam will bring an additional 2 maf of water to Sindh, two

dams will fetch 4 maf and another dam will bring water equal to storage capacity of Mangla
Dam.
Apart from Diamer-Bhasha and Kalabagh, the water vision envisages construction of Akori,
Munda and Kuram Tungi Dams by the year 2016.
5. NEED FOR THE DAMS:
Tariq Hameed, Chairman Wapda says,
Pakistan is fortunate that nature has bestowed it with abundant water reservoirs. It is now
up to us to harness these resources for the economic development and prosperity of the
people of Pakistan.
1) Presently, out of total cultivable land of 77.1 million acres, we are only cultivating 54.5
million acres because of shortage of water.
2) With the increase in population, Pakistan will have a shortfall of 11 million tons of major
food grains by 2010 and 16 million tons by 2020. This food grain deficit will increase to 28
million tons by 2025.
3) High power tariff burdening consumers can be reduced by correcting hydel-thermal
generation ratio of 30-70, which used to be the opposite in 1970.
4) Only 14 % of Pakistans total hydropower potential of 50,000 mw being tapped at
present.
5) Average hydel generation unit cost for new projects is Rs. 1.00/KWH against Rs.
7.00/KWH for new oil based thermal generation.
6) Pakistans electricity demand and increasing by 7 % per annum.
7) Agriculture is the backbone of Pakistans economy; 23.3 % of GDP.
8) 64 % Pakistanis depend on agriculture.
9) 60-70 % of exports depend on it.
10) Pakistan today is among one of the worlds fastest growing populations now estimated
at over 150 million. Due to the lack of large river regulation capability through sizable
storages, the country is facing serious shortages in food grains. Given the present trend,
Pakistan could soon become one of the food deficit countries in the near future. Therefore,
there is a dire need to build storages for augmenting agriculture production. Tarbela,
Mangla and Chashma reservoirs have already lost about 5 maf due to sedimentation. It is
estimated that by the year 2012, this loss would increase to the original combined capacity
of Mangla and Chashma reservoirs.
11) Industrial expansion and growth essential for economic development and prosperity.
12) It will provide the better clean environment for the human beings.
13) Reduction in barren lands.
14) To control flooding and manage rivers.
15) The completion by India of Wuller, Buglihar and Krishenganga, Uri-11 Pakaldul and
Burser projects on the western rivers of Indus, Jehlum and Chenab to which Pakistan has
the exclusive right according to the 1960 Indus Basin Water Treaty, will also create serious
water shortage.
6. NEED FOR RESERVOIRS:
1) Hydropower Generation
High power tariff, which is a burden on consumer, can be reduced by correcting hydel
thermal generation ratio of 30-70, which used to be the opposite in 1970. Only 40% of
Pakistans total hydro power potential of 50000MW is being tapped at present. Average

hydel generation cost for new projects is Rs 1.007/Kwh as against Rs 7/Kwh for new oil
base thermal generation. Pakistans electricity demands are increasing by 7% per annum.
Saving import of fuel for thermal power plants reduce cost of electrically i.e. Rs1/Kwh.
Electrification of industries of towns and villages. Reduces cost of electricity help
manufacturers.
2) Agriculture
Agriculture forms the backbone of Pakistans economy. 23.3% of GDP, 64% Pakistanis
depend directly on agriculture. 60-70% exports depend on it. Water is a life line for
agriculture. Average rainfall of Pakistan is below
Avg
. Thus, water storage is needed for agriculture as it is a precious resource and we should
not waste a drop of it.
Out of Pakistan total geographical area only 17.1Macre is suitable for agriculture. A total of
44.4Macres of agriculture land is irrigated besides only 10Macres Barani land under
cultivation. If water is available the remaining 22.6Macres of land(29% of total suitable area
for agriculture) can turn productive if no additional water is tapped. It means that 1/3 of
agriculture potential will remain untapped.
3) Industry
4) Drinking Water And Sanitation
Pakistans population is increasing by over 2% per year requiring availability of more clean
drinking water. Cities, towns, Villages expanding requiring more water for sanitation
purposes.
Implementation of clean drinking water schemes possible with availability of more water.

5) Environment
Better clean environment for humans. Reduction in barren land. Controlled rivers and
canals.
More land area under cultivation, greenery and habitation to improve better water
management and cleanliness. More forests and eco system preservation and flood control.
7. KALABAGH DAM:
Public feeling that were running high on the Kalabagh dam issue have mercifully calmed
down. The president made a sensible move by announcing a change in the order of the
dams to be built.
The dam site is located 210 Km downstream of Tarbela and 26 Km upstream of Jinnah
Barrage on the Indus. When completed, the rock fill dam will rise to a height of 260 feet and
will be 4375 feet long. It will create a reservoir with usable storage capacity of 6.1 maf. The
entire project is estimated to cost $ 6.1 billion and will take 6 years to complete.
ROLE:
Replacing storage lost by sedimentation in existing reservoirs at Mangla, Chasma and
Tarbela and proving additional storage of water to meet existing water storages during early
Kharif period of April/June. (Particularly critical for cotton crop in Sindh).
Providing effective regulations of Indus River to meet Kharif allocation of provinces under
WAA1991.
To control flood in the Indus to enable provisions of perennial tube well irrigation to the
revering area in Sindh.
Generation of Hydroelectric power at low cost.

Reducing dependence on imported fuel, saving foreign exchange.


I. Reservations of Sindh:
1) No surplus water is available for storage.
2) There is the fear that there is not enough water in the Indus for these mega projects to
be used optimally i.e. there would be no surplus water to fill Kalabagh reservoir.
3) The project would render Sindh into a desert.
4) Sindhs water supply which is already at low level will be reduced further since the
regulation of the flow of the river might enable the upper riparian to take away more of the
water and thus starve the lower riparian of irrigation for its agriculture (Sindh is the lower
riparian).
5) Sindhs worries about possible environmental problems. Its coastal area, which has
suffered as a result of SEA water moving unto the KOTRI, need to minimum 3.6MAF of
water escapade per annum in the INDUS to offset the negative ecological impact on the
river DELTA. Sindh fears that:
Sea water intrusion in Indus estuary would increase. Mangrove forest, which is already
threatened, would be further affected adversely. Fish production, drinking water supply
below KOTRI would be adversely affected.
CRITICISM:
According to experts, these apprehensions are baseless and the real issue is that of politics.
Dams dont consume water. They store water during floods and make it available for crops
demand bases for the dry period.
The share of water would be strictly governed by WAA1991.
Mangrove forests cover area of almost 0.32MA. In the forest spreading from Karachi in the
west to the Rann of Kutch in east, 95% of forest population consists of a SALT TOLERANT
variety.
Similarly, a recent study has shown that instead of reduction fish production has
increased. Moreover, downstream to KOTRI barrage, ground water id saline or brackish not
suitable for irrigation or drinking. After KBD there would be drinking water available.
II. Reservations of Balochistan:
1) The supply of water from Indus, through the Pat Feeder canal, may be curtailed.
III. Reservations of NWFP:
1) It will flood Noshera and lot of fertile areas will be waterlogged, besides displacing a large
no of people.
2) It will displace 42000 people.
3) There would be water logging and salinity in Mardan, Pabbi and Swabi.
4) It is also feared that historic flooding of Peshawar Valley including Nowshera would be
aggravated in the event of recurrence of 1929 record flood.
CRITICISM:
Nowshera, Mardan and Swabi has altitude higher than that of KBD (915 feet above sea
level). Thus KBD would not result in flooding or water logging /salinity. Mardan, Pabbi and
Swabi are at 970-962-1000ft above MSL (Mean Sea Level)
Total cultivable land submerged would be 27500 Acres (24500 in the Punjab and 3000Acrs
in NWFP). Thus submerged irrigated land would be only 3000Acres (2900 Acres in Punjab
and 100Acres in NWFP.
As far as the displacement of people is concerned the people have in their minds the
problems faced after the construction of Tarbela new model village should be constructed to

resettle the effected families with facilities of water supply, electricity, roads, dispensaries,
schools etc.
8. DIAMER BASHA DAM:
The project is located on Indus River, about 315 Km upstream of Tarbela Dam, 165 Km
downstream of Gilgit and 40 Km downstream of Chilas. The dam would have a maximum
height of 270meters and impound a reservoir of about 7.4 maf, with live storage of more
than 6.4 maf. Mean annual discharge of Indus River at the site is 50 maf. The dam will
impound 15 % of the annual river flow. The dam project would cover an area of 110 Km
and extend 100 Km upstream of the dam site up to Raikot Bridge on Karakoram highway.
The estimate cost is $ 6.5 billion. It will affect 30 villages and 2200 houses. It will also affect
22000 people. The total area under reservoir will be 25000 acre and it will generate 16500
Gwh/ year.
Benefits:
1) Availability of 6.5MAF annual surface water storage to supplement irrigation supplies
during low flow periods.
2) Clean and cheap energy through 4500 MW generations.
3) Deduction of dependence on thermal power thus, saving foreign exchange.
4) Employment opportunity, particularly to the locals, during the construction and
operations.
5) Creation of masses infrastructure leading to overall socioeconomic uplift of the area and
standard of living of people.
6) Flood control.
9. CONCLUSION:
The government has drawn up a 25-year plan (2005-2030) for increasing energy
production in the country. That is needed to meet the demand for energy which is
increasing by ten to twelve per cent annually, says Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. That is one
of the major development plans.
The energy development plan is accompanied by initial cost estimates which will be $37
billion to $40 billion that has to come in the form of foreign aid or foreign investment. And
that is a very large sum. But the annual average expenditure works out to $1.5 billion. If
Pakistan itself was to make the investment, the total cost might be less.
Disclosing the details of the 25-year energy augmentation plan Shaukat Aziz says
consumption of power in Pakistan will increase seven fold by 2030 and the energy needs will
increase by eight fold.
Malthus stated that in the race between increasing population and increasing production,
population must eventually win. Those of us who decline to accept this pessimistic view
recognize the difficulty of the practical problem of meeting the needs of an ever-expanding
population.
The present government needs to be appreciated that it has ended the dead lock wit
inauguration of Diamer Basha Dam. It is hoped that Govt. would make an effort to remove
the apprehensions the provinces and construct other dams too.
There should be public consensus on national issue and to look into the matters with
contempt as enemies are working against the prosperous future of Pakistan. We as a nation
need to unite as one to defeat their nefarious aims.

WATER CRISIS IN PAKISTAN


BY FARRUKH SOHAIL GOINDI

The most dreaded water scarcity event has at last hit Pakistan. This is nothing unexpected. The manner
in which we have been used to handle our resources and national affairs, this catastrophic occurrence
was bound to take us over. Natures endowment of water blessings upon Pakistan has always been
envied by the world at large. At the time of independence 5000 cu/m of water was available for each
Pakistani, which has now reduced to 1000 cu/m because of uncontrolled population growth.
Water is one resource that can not be generated it can only be preserved. Farsighted nations try to
conserve each every drop of water available to them because they are aware of the fact that if this
commodity is not prudently preserved and used, the human survival itself would be jeopardized and
future wars would be fought for its possession and control. The only manner to conserve this resource
known to man so far is to construct dams. Dams have been built for atleast 5000 years and, their
functions have evolved with the developing needs of the society. Most likely, the earliest dams were
built to store water for domestic and agriculture water supply. With the onset of industrial era,
hydropower became a major reason to built dams. Presently dams are built to serve many other
functions, such as, flood control, navigation, and recreation. According to an estimate the present
volume of all storage reservoirs with gross capacity of 5 cu/km and above amounts to some 4900 cu/km.
Out of this about 975 cu/km lie in North America while about 1770 cu/km are in Asia with majority in
China. China has some 83000 reservoirs built for various purposes, of which 330 are major in size. While
in Pakistan we have two major and about a dozen smaller reservoirs.
It has been said that all reservoirs are doomed to die. This is due to loss of their storage capacity
because of sedimentation. Assuming a hundred year average life of reservoirs (Lake Mead, USA-350
years + Tarbela, Pakistan-40 years), the world is losing about 41 cu/km of storage capacity per year.
Although we can not halt their termination yet, with our knowledge and effort we can delay this process
and elongate their life. So far few methods are available for prolonging the storage and life of reservoirs.
Among these the most frugal and resource preservation method is construction of series of dams on the
river so as to trap the sediment inflows in the upstream reservoirs and store comparatively sediment
free water in the lower reservoirs. It was estimated that Kalabagh reservoir life with Tarbela upstream
and a conjunctive operation could be extended to 100+ years. The other operational methods include
sediment sluicing alongwith water flows through the dam outlets and flushing of accumulated sediment
through reservoir regulation methods; though these method involve trade off between stored water
and reservoir capacity because stored water shall have to be passed through the dam unobstructed.
Another method available is desiltation through dredging. This method is so expensive that construction
of a new storage would cost about one twentieth of the cost of a similar reservoir.
Let us now recapitulate and make an assessment of ourselves to find out how and why we have
suddenly become a water scarcity country from a water affluent country. Soon after the creation of
Pakistan the country was faced with a number of serious problems including that of electricity and water
shortage. The control of three out of five Punjab rivers had gone to India, which stopped the water
supply to our canals feeding the eastern districts of theUnited Punjab and the Bhawalpur State.The
unilateral action of the Indian Government ruined our cultivated land which was soon rendered dry and

started becoming salinated. This affected the economy of the newly created country very badly and the
danger of famine thus loomed over the nation. Pakistan therefore, had to mobilize her own resources.
The search for alternate arrangements to sustain our mainly agrarian economy started. The construction
of small dams on our rivers like Warsak on Kabul and Rohtas on Jhelum were taken up with the aid of
Commonwealth countries. In addition, for gross utilization of the available water resources in the
country, the Govt. of Pakistan set up an organization under the title Dams Investigation Circle(DIC)
which was entrusted with the task of carrying out comprehensive survey for collecting the data and
preparing the projects which may help in resolving the problems of water and energy shortage. By the
end of May 1996, the DIC prepared a number of projects, which included Dams at Kalabagh on Indus
River and Rohtas (later called Mangla) on Jhelum river.
Investigations for construction of a huge multipurpose dam on Indus River at Kalabagh were started in
1953 and its feasibility was submitted to the Govt. after getting approved by a group of expert foreign
Consultants. The Govt. approved this in 1959, the year WAPDA came in to being. In 1960 a treaty
between Pakistan and India was signed with World Bank mediation widely known as the Indus Basin
Treaty. According to this treaty, control of waters of Ravi, Bias and Sutlej was given to India with the
condition that the Indian Govt. will compensate for the loss of Pakistan and fully participate in the
construction of the replacement works with the help of the World Bank and the other aid giving
agencies. The replacement works included two large dams one on the Indus and the other on Jhelum,
five barrages and eight link canals and a siphon for carrying the waters of Chenab River across the Sutlej
River. The then Chief Martial Law Administrator and President Ayub Khan on behalf of the Pakistan
Govt. and the Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jwaharlal Nehru on behalf of India signed the treaty; Eugene
Blake signed the treaty on behalf of the World Bank. For the two large multipurpose dams on Indus and
Jehlum Pakistan proposed sites at Kalabagh and Rohtas (later called Mangla). Kalabagh site choice for
Pakistan was obvious since lot of investigation had been carried out at this site and a feasibility report
duly prepared and approved by the GOP after check and scrutiny by the foreign experts and consultants.
In the meanwhile a group of shortsighted bureaucrats gathered around Ayub Khan and convinced him to
switch over the construction site on Indus River from Kalabagh to Tarbela some 100 miles upstream.
Unfortunately, Ayub Khan was neither a political leader nor had the wisdom to understand the
implications of the counsel given to him. In fact it was some sort of intrigue weaved very carefully
around Ayub Khan by some petty minded bureaucrats who had their own axe to grind rather than serve
the national interest. On Ayub Khans insistence the design of dam at Tarbela site was prepared in great
hurry, which was not based on detailed site investigations and thus had many inherent defects. The
team of experts warned the GOP that this project would be a complete failure and the whole
investment on this scheme will go down the drain. Incidentally no attention was paid to this warning.
Ayub Khan soon came to know that the World Bank would not pay a single penny for this badly designed
project of Tarbela Dam. Since, a large dam was part of the treaty, the GOP commenced work on Tarbela
Dam out of the funds received for Kalabagh Dam and later approached other countries, who agreed to
finance the project on terms and conditions favored to their interests. The reasons for switching over to
Tarbela Dam were never made known to the public which ofcource was not in a position of raising any
voice against the authority of the Martial Law Government. Kalabagh Dam was therefore thrown into

the dustbin and all the resources were diverted towards Tarbela Dam. However, a lollypop was given to
the nation stating that since it is intended to built a series of dams on the Indus river, soon after
completion of Tarbela all machinery and trained man-power would be diverted towards construction of
Kalabagh and later on completion of Kalabagh, these resources would be utilized for construction of
dam(s)upstream of Tarbela at suitable sites.
Tarbelas hurried and faulty design brought Pakistan near total catastrophe in 1974. It was only the
Almighty that saved Pakistan from complete devastation. An accidental stuck-up of tunnel gates at
Tarbela forced the operating authorities dump the full reservoir and when the reservoir was completely
depleted it was found that large sink holes have developed on the immediate upstream of the dam. This
is a phenomenon akin to silent heart attack, which results into sudden cardiac arrest without warning.
With a newly full reservoir no one could visualize such a happening and one fine morning there would
have been no dam resulting into the whole country being under 4-6 feet of water.
The story of Kalabagh does not end here. During Bhutto era need for another storage seriously cropped
up and research and studies with the help of both local and foreign consultants were carried out to
develop the Kalabagh feasibility studies into full fledge project design. This design was deliberated by
top world experts on dam design, reservoir sedimentation and operation. Due care was given to various
implications involved and engineering solutions based on sophisticated techniques were chalked out.
During Zia regime the World Bank committed some U.S. $7.0 billion and kept this amount earmarked for
about three years. Then suddenly an intrigue based on dirty politics sealed the fate of the Kalabagh Dam
for all times to come. A powerful General who was Governor of NWFP in order to put pressure on Zia for
reasons best known to them, in connivance with some Consultants started marking high flood level
marks on the houses, graveyards, mosques and other permanent structures, and set a wave of alarm
among the public of fear of their drowning. This disturbance among the people was played up so much
that a strong resistance started developing among the inhabitants of NWFP against the Dam. Most
unfortunately, these high flood level marks were neither based on facts nor had any basis. The dam
designers in particular and the engineering community in general based on actual studies proved and
showed that even in the worst scenario when both Tarbela and Kalabagh are full and an unprecedented
historic flash flood occurs, the high flood level would not reach to a stage so as to cause any damage to
the populace. With regard to the fear of waterlogging in the Nowshera valley adequate provision was
made for tubewell installations as part of the Kalabagh project. But, the shot had been fired and before
the NWFP people fears could be quelled, the Sindh Province came out with an entirely opposite
objection to the Kalabagh Dam building i.e. drought and water scarcity. The controversy has reached to
an extent that today almost every one in Pakistan has formed opinion either for or against the Kalabagh
Dam.
If we look deep into the controversy we would clearly see the mistrust and distrust between the
Provinces being an outcome of the suppression caused by autocratic rules and absence of democratic
forces needed to freely vent and mitigate the negative forces.
Coming back to the water scarcity problem, we find that absence of additional storages have forced us
to burden Tarbela most adversely by inflicting continued low level drawdowns which caused racing of

large sediment deposits within the reservoir towards the Dam much before than expected. To retard the
movement of sediment towards the Dam it was required to keep the minimum pool level higher so as to
keep the delta away from the Dam and maintain the reservoirs live storage as much as possible. For
example, Tarbela minimum pool level initially was fixed at El. 1300 and later with the increase in
sediment inflows was to be gradually raised to El. 1400 and if need arises even higher. But, successive
dry years forced us to operate the reservoir at lower levels and as a result the toe of the delta has
almost reached upto to mouth of the intakes. As such, this year we are forced to stop water releases
from the reservoir at El. 1369 and, if we venture to lower it further all silt, sand and debris would pass
through the power intakes and damage the turbines to an extent that the power house shall have to be
closed for repairs involving heavy amount of foreign exchange.
The Kalabagh controversy started some 15 years back and during this period we did nothing but to
concentrate on rhetoric for or against Kalabagh. Although it was known that consensus on construction
of a new reservoir above or below Kalabagh will take some time and when it somehow gets finalized
then preparation of its feasibility, design and then construction all would involve not less than 15 years.
One preference for Kalabagh is that its designs are prepared and even the tender documents are ready.
It is a well-known fact that in the world most lucrative projects were conceived but resisted and washed
out by envoirmentalists. That never was construed as end of the day. Planners always have alternate
plans ready, which unfortunately we miserably lack. Prudence demanded that during the last 15 years
we should have worked on sites other than Kalabagh and reached a level from where the actual
construction commences. Not only that, we should have educated ourselves through research and study
of Tarbela reservoir sedimentation processes and upgraded our knowledge of the complexity of
reservoir sedimentation.
The engineering interest in reservoir sedimentation concerns three physical aspects; (i) overall volume
of trapped sediment, (ii) distribution of deposit volume, and (iii) distribution of sediment particle size
within the reservoir. The loss of storage capacity due to sediment deposits reduces the efficacy of a
reservoir to regulate the flow and to provide a flood control. The distribution of volume of deposit
determines the relative impact of trapped sediment on the usable storage, and the distribution of
particle size effects the density of deposits as well as the potential damage caused by the ingress of
sediment into the power inlets.
A number of approaches have been developed in the world to study these phenomenon. These include
empirical methods; mathematical modeling and physical modeling but all these approaches have their
limitations and need research and study to evaluate their effectiveness. Tarbela reservoir is one such
place where ideal conditions exist to enhance our knowledge in area of sedimentation engineering.
WAPDA was established to develop the water and power resources of the country. It was structured as a
multi-disciplinary organization with wide autonomy of working. It was at its Zenith when it most
successfully and in record time completed worlds gigantic Indus Basin Project. Although, after the Indus
Basin Project no new large construction project with the exception of SCARP was handled by WAPDA
yet, it continued its effective and productive role of water development through research and studies.

Between 1974 to1987 under its aegis worlds largest ever undertaken prototype research in the
mechanics of alluvial channels using the canals and rivers of Pakistan was undertaken with the
collaborative sponsorship and funding from the National Science Foundation of USA. The
accomplishments under this research endeavor provided worldwide designers of the alluvial channels
new approaches based on phenomenon hither to unknown and unobserved. Later, the WAPDA
organization entrusted with this research project was elevated into an international sedimentation
research institute in order to use its knowledge and expertise to research and study the complex
processes of sedimentation, the biggest menace and threat to the water resources whether these are
flowing or conserved.
Then a gradual apathy, unconcern and indifference on WAPDAs part towards its basic objective of
development of water and power resources tookover; most probably due to the attitude of its higherups who considered WAPDAs role solely of a revenue collection agency. Unfortunately, those under the
top brass were also insensitive towards the sophisticated expertise developed within the organization
and therefore did not have the capability of properly guiding or counseling the decision-makers. The net
result was that organizations that were built in decades were destroyed and reduced to shambles in
months. The star international sedimentation research institute is now dumped into few katcha garages
in a remote corner of the city. All its sophisticated equipment has either been reduced to junk or
pilfered and all the expertise gained totally lost. This world renowned research institute is now headed
by a Sr. Engr. who has been promoted from a mechanical overseer. Similarly, another organization,
which was developed from Dams Investigation Circle (mentioned earlier), is under so much fear and
harassment that its employees have practically lost all nerve. This organization is also being headed by a
mechanical engineer who does not know even basics of dam engineering.

Various periodic inspections of Tarbela Dam by experts recommended different solutions to tackle the
sedimentation problems of the reservoir. For testing and researching these solutions it was proposed
that immediately a physical model studies laboratory be established at Tarbela site. This laboratory
would not only undertake a comprehensive research and study to find solutions to Tarbela problems but
also cater for future needs of other projects on the Indus River and its tributaries. In this regard
collaborative efforts were made with a prestigious Chinese sedimentation research institute. But, with
the departure of those who were instrumental in developing of this collaborative activity with the
Chinese, every thing was thrown to airs. The Chinese are constructing a very large dam namely Three
Gorges Project. This project is not only being researched in a physical-modeling laboratory at the site
but at every major engineering university in the country. What a pity? We who claim to have worlds
most integrated water resource and conveyance system do not have even one laboratory in the country
capable of studying dams, reservoirs or sedimentation problems. On the other hand, as announced by
the Chief Executive, we are planning to construct a number of reservoirs and, unfortunately, do not
posses the basic infrastructure to study the complexities involved. The one laboratory at Nandipure
under the Punjab Irrigation Department is not even sufficient to handle Punjab Irrigations own
problems and the efficacy and efficiency of this laboratory portrays the same story of apathy.

WAPDA has now come up with its dream of vision 2025. With the present level of in-house knowledge
and expertise can it even initiate such a utopic program? We talk of constructing projects like Bhasha
Dam. Unfortunately, we think of Bhasha probably similar to a plaza. This project is going to be far more
problematic than Tarbela (Refer Panel of Experts Report-1988). No local firm (s) is capable of
undertaking its investigations without active collaboration of foreign experts/specialists. Had we
continued the research and study efforts started way back within WAPDA, we by now would have
achieved a level of knowledge whereby our dependency on foreign expertise had been minimal. But, we
wasted all opportunities and chances. No we can do nothing but hold Namaz- e- Istasqa.