Tuesday April 23, 2024

Pakistan lost 1,570 BCM of water to sea in 38 years

By Khalid Mustafa
November 30, 2017
ISLAMABAD: In a shocking disclosure, Pakistan has lost 1,570 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water in the last 38 years which could have contributed $636 billion to its agriculture GDP alone.
This huge quantum of water has gone to sea and had it been stored in dams, it would have generated 430,000MW of electricity. Since Pakistan has failed to erect more dams which is why it has lost the mammoth loss of $636 billion to its agriculture GDP alone and huge hydropower losses of 430,000MW, unfolds the latest working of Pakistan Water Partnership (GWP) done by its chief executive officer of Sardar Muhammad Tariq, ex-member (water) Wapda and former regional chair of Global water Partnership--South Asia.
It also reveals that the country lost 112BCM of water to sea valuing $46 billion in three floods of 2010, 2011 and 2014. The country lost water of 68BCM in 2010 flood, 15BCM in 2011 and 112BCM in 2014 flood.
The water lost in three floods is equivalent to original live storage of 10 Tarbela dams and had this huge quantum of water been stored and utilised, Pakistan would have hydropower of 30,478MW and energy potential of 144Twh.
Pakistan’s overall contribution of agriculture sector to GDP stands at $500million per 1MAF (million acre feet) or 1.233BCM of water. However, developed countries’ contribution is $1 to 2 billion per 1MAF or 1.233BCM.
Pakistan’s food productivity per unit of water is vulnerable as its productivity stands at just 0.13kg per unit water whereas India has the food productivity at 0.39kg per unit of water, China has 0.82kg per unit of water, the USA 1.56kg per unit of water and Canada possesses the food productivity of 8.72kg per unit of water.
It also divulges that Pakistan has only three major storage dams having just 30 days carryover capacity whereas China has 23,843 dams, the USA 9,265, India 5,102, Japan 3,116, Brazil 1,392, Korea 1,305, Canada 1,166, South Africa 1,114, Spain 1,082, Turkey 976, Iran 800, France 713, UK 607, Australia 507 and Germany had 308 dam.
So much so, India has planned to construct additional 2,500 dams by 2050 to add 180BCM of storage. India currently has the water carry over capacity of 220 days, Egypt 1,000 days on the Nile River only, America 900 days, Australia 600 days, South Africa has carry over capacity of 500 days on the Orange River.
In the wake of sedimentation, the live storage capacity of Tarbela, which was once at 11.95BCM in 1974 has eroded to 7.82BCM will further plummet up to 6.49BCM in year 2025. Likewise, storage capacity in Mangla Dam has gone down to 5.50BCM of water from 6.58BCM in 1967 and is prone to reduce more to 4.93BCM in 2025. And in Chashma Barrage, the live storage capacity has gone down to 0.55BCM from 1972 and is also feared to reduce to 0.55BCM. In to to, Pakistan’s storage capacity has reduced to 12.99BCM from 19.42BCM and will further plunge to 11.92BCM in 2025.