Punjab Govt approves scheme of recharge of aquifer for groundwater management
LAHORE: Punjab Government is going to kick-off a Project for Recharge of Aquifer for Groundwater Management in Punjab Province to develop the economical and sustainable technology and to recharge the Aquifer naturally and artificially at the available site across the Punjab. A project with the estimated cost of Rs. 582.249 million has been approved to execute this project for four years time period by the Punjab Irrigation Department.
Punjab Chairman P&D Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan said this while presiding over the Provincial Development Working Party Meeting (PDWP) of current fiscal year 2015-16 held at P&D Complex, Lahore. Provincial Secretary P&D Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, members of the Planning & Development Board, Provincial Secretaries concerned and other senior representatives of the relevant Provincial Departments also attended the meeting.
Chairman P&D, addressing the meeting, said that the province is facing problems of rapid depletion of groundwater levels and intrusion of saline water into sweet water in some areas. This will pose a great threat to national health and economy in the years to come. Punjab’s share of surface canal water of 56 MAF is grossly inadequate to sustain the irrigated agriculture. A tremendous groundwater development has taken place during the last four decades, resultantly excessive withdrawal and consequently deterioration of groundwater quality in some parts of the Punjab, he added.
He told that water resources of Pakistan are under immense pressure due to agricultural expansion, population growth and associated urbanization and industrialization. The gap between water demand and supply is going rapidly. Based on current population growth rate, there was 10% shortage of water in year 2001 which will increase to 25% in year 2025. A present Pakistan is among the water scarce countries with per capita availability of less than 1000 m3.
Chairman P&D Jahanzeb Khan highlighting the project’s objectives disclosed that the groundwater levels are declining in the project area at the rate more than 2 feet per year. The agriculture of the area is facing shortage of irrigation water supplies. The main objective of the scheme is to recharge the ground water by ponding of flood water in old Mailsi Canal and supplement it by installing suitable recharging mechanism like recharging well as pilot project. Moreover to develop efficient and sustainable techniques for artificial recharge of Aquifer using surplus rain, flood and surface water and also strengthening the ground water monitoring network in Punjab as well as to identify the different potential feasible sites for artificial recharge.