ISLAMABAD  – With the onset of summer, the people of Islamabad are faced with another season of water scarcity as they are receiving just enough of their needed water but the situation is feared to turn worse in the days to come.

“The daily need of Islamabad is around 150 million gallons but we are receiving half of it as the water level in both the reservoirs are depleting fast owing to lack of rains,” said a senior CDA official.

In winter season too, Islamabad received almost 30 per cent lesser rains that is why the water level in the reservoirs could not surge considerably. He said from Simly Dam, the CDA is currently receiving around 24 MGD against usual quantity of 39 MGD.

The quantity of water from Khanpur Dam has also been reduced to nine MGD. He said the water level in Simly Dam now stands at 2,275.20 feet against the optimum level of 2,315 feet.

He said a network of 189 tube-wells across Islamabad also contributes 22 MGD water but around 40 per cent of them are lying dysfunctional and the CDA’s kitty does not allow any spending on their repair and maintenance.

The official said number of complaints for water tankers has been on fast increase as the CDA’s network is unable to cope with residents’ water demand. “We are helpless but to bank upon water tankers as permanent source of water supply, though it incurs huge costs to the residents as well as the CDA,” the official commented.

He said the weather couldn’t solely be blamed for water scarcity because the major flaw lies on part of the CDA because almost half of the total volume of supplied water goes waste from dilapidated waterworks.

“Around 30MGD of water goes to waste daily that equals Simly Dam. But owing to prevailing financial constraints, the CDA is unable to improve the system,” said the official. He said the federal capital currently faces the shortfall of around 85 MGD as both the Dams have the capacity to supply 65 MGD only.

Sometime back, the CDA had also launched water conservation drive and had amended its bylaws to criminalise water wastage. Under this law, the civic body had initiated imposing fine on residents wasting water for car washing or gardening. Moreover, the CDA had also necessitated the rainwater harvesting system in every building covering above one kanal of land so that this water may be used for gardening. However, the CDA was facing resistance on part of the residents who demand the CDA to bring its own house in order first.

Simultaneously, the CDA is also exploring avenues to seek Rs 10 billion funding for replacement of its dilapidated water pipelines as the Central Development Working Party had refused to arrange funding for the project asking the CDA do it from own funding. As per recommendations by the architect of Islamabad, city’s waterworks should be upgraded after each decade but the civic authority has failed to do so even for once. Another multibillion rupees project for conduction of water pipeline from Ghazi Barotha is yet facing delay owing to funds scarcity. Under this project, the CDA had desired to conduct 200 MGD from Tarbella for the twin cities.