Islamabad’s Kachnar Park is getting an artificial groundwater recharge site to help bridge the gap between water demand and supply in the federal capital.
The pilot project is an initiative of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Pakistan, the Pakistan Water Resources Research Council and Water Aid Pakistan.
The artificial groundwater recharge site was initiated under the project “Demonstration of nature-based solutions to improve the resilience of underground aquifers in Islamabad”.
Funded by Water Aid, the project identified the 7th potential groundwater recharge site in Islamabad.
While announcing the launch of the project, the Country Representative and Regional Representative for Central Asia, IWMI, Dr. Mohsin Hafeez, highlighted the water problems in Islamabad which have increased due to wastage of rainwater and l horizontal expansion of the capital, overexploitation of groundwater resources, poor water supply, sanitation and hygiene problems and unsustainable use.
Islamabad receives an average of 1,400mm of rain a year, he said, and by conserving only 30% of rainwater through artificial groundwater recharge sites, we can meet the demand of 46 million gallons of water per day versus 45 million gallons of water per day.
Earlier, IWMI developed the first state-of-the-art artificial groundwater recharge pilot site equipped with comprehensive instrumentation to measure groundwater quality, groundwater level, precipitation and the amount of precipitation injected into the aquifer.
The project will provide factual information on the contribution of rainfall to groundwater replenishment in Islamabad, Dr Hafeez explained.
“To overcome water scarcity issues in Islamabad, IWMI has recommended the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to install rainwater harvesting tanks at household level,” he said. .
Kachnar Park was selected for its excellent rainwater availability and suitable underground storage capacity of three feet deep, 566,000 liters of water. Experts have pointed out that the twin cities are likely to receive 40% more rain this monsoon season.
PCRWR Chairman Dr Mohammad Ashraf said the solution to the water supply challenge is linked to rainwater harvesting for groundwater recharge, which needs to be scaled up to solve the water supply challenges. groundwater depletion problems.
He said that compared to the average annual rainfall in Islamabad, groundwater depletion was around one meter. “This means that if we efficiently conserve available rainwater through recharge, we could easily manage the gap between demand and supply through groundwater,” he said.
The Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, Mohammad Yahya Akhunzada urged the media to raise public awareness on rainwater harvesting for watering plants and conservation of water resources in general.
CDA Member (Finance) Rana Shakeel Asghar praised the efforts of IWMI, PCRWR and WaterAid in piloting the initiative and hoped it will help recharge groundwater.
He said given Islamabad’s growing water needs, rainwater harvesting was important to recharge groundwater.
To this end, 100 groundwater recharge sites have been built by the CDA in collaboration with the PCRWR. The CDA planned to further increase the number of groundwater recharge sites.
WaterAid Country Director Arif Jabbar Khan said Pakistan was a water stressed country and its water resources were severely depleted and the plant would help address these challenges.