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Water crisis hovers over Karachi as Hub Dam level goes critically low

KARACHI: With only seven inches of water left above the dead level in the reservoir Hub dam is now facing a critically low degree of reserved water which might only last a few days.

Owing to the low supply from the dam, many areas in the western and central districts of the city are facing water shortage. Alternative arrangements are currently underway in order to supply water to these areas.

According to reports the water board installing pumps at the Dam to increase the water supply to the affected areas.

A 30-kilometer-long canal from Hub dam supplies around 100 mgd water to Karachi.

Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) spokesman while addressing Media queries said that while he cannot confirm the exact measurement of the level of the water in the Hub Dam he confirmed the reports that the level is dangerously low. He also added saying that many areas connected to the dam water supply are seriously affected and facing acute water shortage.

Lack of rainfall in the dam catchment area has created drought-like situation, while a major portion of the dam’s reservoir, which is around 26 square kilometers has almost dried up with hardly half a foot of water left the spokesman said.

The Hub canal with its designed capacity supplies around 100 million gallons of water daily (mgd) to the metropolis.

During the current situation around 12 mgd of water is being supplied to the city.

The dam’s old structure and poor maintenance had resulted in leakages and breaches in the water body.

To maintain the water supply to a certain quantity the water being diverted from the Indus distribution system to Hub Dam.

Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) spokesperson said that KWSB is installing heavy duty water pumps in the reservoir to supply an additional 35 mgd of water from it to the city. The pumps were expected to be operational in the next couple of days, he said.

Around 50 mgd of water coming from the Indus source being diverted to the Hub pumping station to be distributed through its network to the water-scarce districts of West and Central, he added.

New tanks are being constructed while the old are being restored and rehabilitated to supply water through tankers to the affected areas, he further said.

Even the water has been in limited supply the board was making efforts to judiciously distribute water to all areas of the metropolis, he concluded.

Drought-like situation

The water in Hub Dam, located 56 km from Karachi, goes down owing to the lack of run-off in recent months.

Most parts of the country facing drought-like situation as last year’s monsoon was about a quarter below the norm and winter rains were about half the average.

The Hub dam is extended to 24,300 acres with gross storage capacity of 8,57,000 acre feet. It is the Pakistan’s third largest dam and an important source that meets water needs of the city.

The dam provides 100 million gallons water per day to Karachi.

The water level in the reservoir goes down due to scarce rainfall in the catchment area of Hub Dam having total capacity at 339 feet.

The last time the dam reached its full capacity was in 2013, when the water level was enough to meet the citizen’s requirements for three years, water board sources earlier said.

The dam is not only a source of water for Karachi, but also supplies water to Hub and Lasbella district of Balochistan and the surrounding areas for irrigation purposes.

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