ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) called upon the government to establish water banks to save country from looming drought and ensure water security.
Water resources are rapidly plummeting in the country and per capita water availability has decreased by 80 percent since 1951, said Atif Ikram Sheikh, President ICCI in a statement here.
He said no mega water storage project has been constructed after the completion of the Tarbela Dam despite availability of lot of sites including Kalabagh.
Climate change has disturbed pattern of rainfall in the country while over dependence on groundwater has reduced its level to alarming limits which must be noticed, he added.
Atif Ikram Sheikh said that existing dams have limited capacity to store water which has resulted in lack of cheap electricity, limited protection from floods and inadequate water for masses, agriculture and industry and situation is getting serious by the passage of time.
Whole country is increasingly coming under extreme water strain but the situation in Balochistan is much more critical where groundwater shortage has reached catastrophic proportions.
Some reports blame excessive groundwater utilisation by mining industry therefore the federal and provincial governments should realize the gravity of the situation, he said.
The ICCI president said that the depletion of groundwater resources have little to do with the climate and much more to do with the scale of irresponsible water consumption throughout the country and Balochistan province.
Government must build recharge reservoirs, intercept and flood water at catchment areas to recharge ground water, build mall dams, and ensure consensus on big dams, he proposed.