KARACHI: The Sindh government is likely to demand an additional 1,200 cusecs of water for the provincial capital as the demand for water has increased manifold, causing serious issues for the authorities in going ahead with the K-IV project.
According to well-informed sources who spoke with Pakistan Today, the authorities have detailed paperwork and it is expected that the issue would be taken up in the upcoming meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI).
According to the sources, Karachi is known as ‘mini Pakistan’ that offers employment opportunity to all the provinces of the country due to which a large number of people are migrating to the metropolitan and the population which is already increasing rapidly is expected to increase to more than 32 million by 2025.
Accordingly, the per capita domestic water supply in the city has dropped to an alarming level as it currently stands at 12.75 gallons per capita per day g/c/d whereas, the international standard is 40 g/c/d.
“It is feared that the domestic water catering would drop further in the coming years, mainly because of to city’s population growth rate,” sources said.
“Presently, Karachi’s demand for water supply is about 1,220 MGD against which about 650.5 MGD (1200 cusecs) is being supplied to the city from Indus river that is a sanctioned allocation. Due to an increase in population, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) has worked out an additional demand of 1200 cusecs for the K-IV project up to the year 2025. This raises the total requirement of water for Karachi from 1200 cusecs to 2400 cusecs,” they added.
The additional KWSB demand of 1200 cusecs i.e. 650 MGD supply from river Indus under K-IV project is a major challenge and constrain for irrigation department Sindh to meet from its own allocated and limited share, as it will adversely affect the irrigation supplies to Thatta, Badin and Sujawal districts.
The Irrigation Department has approached Indus River System Authority (IRSA) twice to allocate additional drinking water for Karachi, in addition to the provision in the Water Accord 1991. However, IRSA regretted the request and replied that “any additional requirement of water supply to Karachi has to be met by Sindh out of its existing allocated share, as no water outside the Accord is available for further distribution.”
It is pertinent to mention that prior to the Water Accord 1991, 1,200 cusecs of water were sanctioned for Karachi on in 1988 by the then president.