Tuesday April 16, 2024

Groundwater lowers by 5 to 8 feet annually in Islamabad

By Our Correspondent
March 24, 2023

Islamabad: The ground water is lowering in Islamabad by alarming five to eight feet annually due to extensive pumping by departments and residents to meet water requirements.

According to official statistics prepared by the civic agency, groundwater in the federal capital has lowered by five times over the last five years. Earlier, a 6ft decrease in ground water was observed in 2013, a 10ft decrease in 2014 and a 16ft, 23ft and 30ft decrease up to 2017. The similar trend also continued in last five years.

As far as areas like Sector G-11 and beyond are concerned, there is no general aquifer (underground water-bearing strata) available and groundwater is only present in a few pockets which are also depleting.

Azhar Javed, a conservationist, said “Groundwater depletion occurs because of the frequent pumping of water from the ground. We continuously pump groundwater from aquifers and it does not have enough time to replenish itself. Pumping water out of the ground faster than it is replenished over the long-term causes similar problems.”

Islamabad has the highest population growth rate and it has also been witnessing a mushroom growth of concrete buildings. The twin cities have a total of 9,170 public and private tube wells and boreholes. However, these numbers are massively underreported as the number of illegal wells and bores is much more than it. With only 3 dams for water supply including Rawal, Khanpur and Simli, and rising private housing societies, the twin cities water conundrum has no immediate solution.

An official has said “There is no proposal under consideration to construct small dams in Islamabad, particularly near Margallah hills due to non-availability of feasible dam sites. In 2005, the civic agency reviewed the proposal to build six small dams. This issue continued to catch attention of successive governments but this proposal failed to get approval due to some technical reasons.”