University of Sargodha
Pakistan is already one of the most water-stressed countries in
the world, a situation which is going to degrade into outright
water scarcity due to high population growth.
It depends on a single river system ; hence suffering with lack of
multiplicity of river basins and diversity of water resources.
Indus Waters have become an increasing bone of contention, not
only between India and Pakistan, but also between the
regions/provinces in these two countries.
To meet the rising demand of water and power for economic
growth, Pakistan urgently needs a series of water storage and
hydroelectric power projects.
Kalabagh Dam figures out prominently in this regard.
Opposing concerns be resolved at the earliest in the larger
interest of the country, its people and the future generations.
1.History of Water Dispute
2.Need of large Dams
3.Why Kalabagh Dam?
4.Role of Kalabagh Dam
5.Apprehensions and Answers
a. Pre Pakistan
b. Post Pakistan
c. Water Apportionment Accord-1991
d. Indus River System Authority(IRSA)
e. Persistent Dissonance
1. History of Water Dispute
a. Pre Pakistan
1) Provision of irrigation on a controlled year around
basis in subcontinent started in 1859.
2) The conflict between Sindh and Punjab over water
apportionment is as old as the 1870s, when Punjab
started constructing irrigation infrastructure on Indus
3) There were several accords and agreements regarding
water apportionment between Sindh and Punjab
promulgated by the British India governments.
4) India Irrigation Commission 1901-1903, was among the
initial accords for Water of Indus River recognizing the
need and decreeing Sindh's usage of Indus water.
5) Punjab was denied right to use Indus River water until
the completion of Sukkur Barrage Project (Cotton
Committee-1919). Thal Project by Punjab met identical
refusals in 1919 and 1925 by the then Viceroys, Lord
Chelmsford and Lord Raiding respectively.
6) Anderson Committee was the first that was appointed
by the Government of British India around 1935 to
resolve water sharing problems among former states of
Bekaneer, Bahawalpur and the Punjab, later joined by
Khairpur state. Mr. Anderson, Chief Engineer UP
presented report in 1935.
7) After restoration of provincial status of Sindh in British
India, an agreement was reached in 1945 signed by
Chief Engineers of the two provinces, whereby the right
of Sindh over Indus water was held supreme, but it was
not ratified by the Government of Punjab for lack of
settlement of financial .
b. Post Pakistan
1) Consequent to partition of British India, Kashmir,
besides its political dimension, being the origin of
many rivers, also manifested in enduring
disagreement over sharing of Indus waters between
India and Pakistan.
2) The origin of issue between the two countries lay in
division of 'the major tributaries (Ravi, Beas and Sutlej
rivers) of the Indus between upstream and
downstream riparians that provided irrigation water
for the fertile and densely populated region of Punjab
on both sides of the border.
3) The World Bank played major role by providing
mediation, support staff, funding and proposals for
pushing negotiations forward, and was able to resolve
it after 9 years with the signing of Indus Water Treaty
(IWT) in September 1960 for joint sharing of water in
the Indus basin.
4) In Pakistan, however, distribution of water continued
in accordance with the 1945 Formula till 1977 when,
after construction of Tarbella dam, the Federal
Government decided to follow ad-hoc arrangements
for water apportionment between provinces.
5) After the dismemberment of One Unit in 1970, the
Federal Government on the request of the provinces
appointed different commissions/committees, headed
by Supreme Court Judges, one after another to
examine the problem of inter-provincial
apportionment of Indus water, but the consensus
could not develop amongst the provinces on Justice
Fazle Altar committee and Justice Haleem
c. Water Apportionment Accord-1991
It was signed by chief ministers of all four prov, 1991. It
replaced previous agreements to distribute the Indus
River waters among the provinces and command areas. It
established the water rights among the provinces inces of
Pakistan on 16th March 1991 andratified by the Council of
Common Interest (CCI) on 21st Marchand protects future
water rights, including the effect of future storages.
d. Indus River System Authority (IRSA)
1) The regulatory authority for monitoring and distribution of the
water sources of the Indus River.
2) CCI held its meeting on 16th September 1991 to decide 10-day
average system-wise, season-wise allocation consented in clause
VII of WAA for the provinces.
3) The ground realities suggest that till 2003 sharing for availability
below accord allocation was being done on the basis of average
uses for five years from 1977-82 (historic uses) rather than on the
basis of 10 daily statements approved by the CCI, which was a
clear violation of the accord".
4) In May 1994, Punjab presented a working before the Federal
Minister of Water proposing a different formula for sharing
shortages now known as the so called "Historical Use Formula."
The matter was subsequently referred to the Federal Law
Division, which duly observed it as violation of the 1991 Accord
and the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The
proposed provision was regarded by some as a catalyst for sowing
the seeds of discord on water accord.
e. The persistent Dissonance
1) In all from 1937 until signing of WAA, there were
several attempts made but failed except Rau
Commission. These were ;-
a) Anderson Committee (1935)
b) Indus (Rau) Commission (1939)
c) Akhtar Hussain Committee (1968)
d) Fazal-e-Akbar Committee (1970)
e) Anwar-ul-Haq Commission (1981)
f) Haleem Committee (1983)
2) In the Indus Waters Accord of 1991, all provinces also
recognized the need for new storages wherever feasible
for planned future agricultural development.
3) These structural arrangements by and large managed the
conflicts, but remained far from finding their enduring
a. Water Shortage
b. Food Security
c. Deteriorating Storage Capacity of Old
d. Flood Prevention
e. Power Generation
f. Modification of Old Irrigation System
g. Aggressive Designs of India
2. Need of Large Dams
POPULATION 2005 141 million
2025 220 million
URBAN POPULATION Currently 35%
TOTAL AREA 196 M ACRES
CULTIVABLE 77 MA
CULTIVATED 54.5 MA
REMAINING 22.5 MA Needs Add. Water
To increase the crop yield requires additional water.
Net Crop Water Requirement 2003-4 77.4 MAF
2010-11 89 MAF
2024-25 114.64 MAF
Domestic Demand Currently≈ 4.0 MAF
2025 ≈ 10.5MAF
WATER AVAILABILITY Vs POPULATION GROWTH
1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2002 2010 2020 2025
CAN BE BROUGHT
CATEGORY AREA (MA)
GEOGRAPHICAL AREA 196.0
AREA SUITABLE FOR AGRICULTURE 77.1
(IRRIGATED + BARANI)
AREA UNDER IRRIGATION
(BY ALL SOURCES)
ADDITIONAL AREA THAT CAN BE
BROUGHT UNDER IRRIGATED
SOURCE: AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS OF PAKISTAN 1998-99
LAND USE IN PAKISTAN
Sindh 3.6 MA
Punjab 4.3 MA
NWFP 3.0 MA
Baloch. 11.6 MA
TOTAL 22.5 MA
GROSS STORAGE LOSS
ORIGINAL YEAR 2004
8.36 (72%) 3.26 (28%) 3.95 (34%) 5.51 (47%)
MANGLA 5.88 (1967) 4.64 (78%) 1.24 (22%) 1.60 (27%) 1.97 (34%)
CHASHMA 0.87 (1971) 0.48 (55%) 0.39 (45%) 0.58 (55%) 0.50 (57%)
TOTAL 18.37 13.48 (73%) 4.89 (27%) 6.03 (33%) 7.98 (43%)
RESERVOIR SEDIMENTATION (MAF)
From Western Rivers at RIM Stations 141 MAF
Above Rim Stations 5 MAF
TOTAL 146 MAF
Above RIM Stations 5 MAF
Canal Diversion 106 MAF
TOTAL 111 MAF
BALANCE AVAILABLE 35 MAF
WATER AVAILABILITY IN PAKISTAN
ESCAPAGE BELOW KOTRI
HYDROLOGICAL YEAR FROM APRIL TO MARCH
Source: WRMD WAPDA
Source: WRMD WAPDA based on data supplied by Govt. of Sindh
April 2005 1.6 MAF
May 2005 0.74 MAF
Name of Project Capacity (MW) Tentative
New Bong Escape at 84 2010
Rajdhani at Punch
Matiltan at Swat 84 2012
Malakand III( ) 81 2008
Kotli 100 2011
Gulpur (AJK) 120 2012
Gabral – Kalam 101 2012
Hydropower Projects in Private Sector
Total 19403 MW
OVERVIEW OF PAKISTAN POWER SECTOR
PAKISTAN’S HYDROPOWER POTENTIAL (SUMMARY)
River/ Tributary Power
1. Indus River 35760
2. Tributaries of Indus (Northern Areas) of NWFP 5558
Sub Total (1+2) 41318
3. Jhelum River 3143
4, Kunhar River 1250
5. Neelum River & its Tributaries 2459
6. Poonch River 397
Sub Total (3+4+5+6) 7249
7. Swat River & its Tributaries 2388
8. Chitral River & its Tributaries 2282
Sub Total (7+8) 4670
9. Schemes below 50 MW on Tributaries 1290
TOTAL 54, 527
Indus River Basin
Jhelum River Basin
Swat & Chitral River
PAKISTAN’S HYDROPOWER POTENTIAL
Swat & Chitral
c. Munda Dam
d. Kurrum Tangi Dam
e. Kalabagh Dam
3. Why We Need Kalabagh Dam
a. Replacing storage lost by sedimentation
b. Providing additional storage
c. Providing effective regulation of Indus
d. Regulation and control of high flood
peaks in the Indus
e. Generating hydro-power
f. Reducing dependence on imported fuels
g. Creating employment
4. Role of Kalabagh Dam
a. Apprehensions of Khaber Pakhtunkhawa
1) Flooding of Peshawar Valley including Nowshera.
2) Drainages of Mardan, Pabbi and Swabi .
3) Operation of Mardan SCARP end up.
4) Fertile land would be submerged.
5) Displacment of People.
APPREHENSION OF NWFP
1. flooding of Peshawar Valley including Nowshera
®Backwater effect of Dam lake would end about 10 miles
downstream of Nowshera.
2. Area of Mardan, Pabbi and Swabi plains would be adversely
affected creating water logging and salinity.
® Lowest ground levels at Mardan, Pabbi and Swabi areas are 970,
960 and 1000 feet above MSL respectively, as compared to the
maximum conservation level of 915 ft for dam, Operation pattern
of reservoir cannot block the land drainage and cause water
logging or salinity
3. Operation of Mardan SCARP would be adversely
® The invert levels of main drains of Mardan SCARP are
higher than reservoir elevation of 915 feet and the back water
level in Kabul River. These drains would keep on functioning
without any obstruction.
4. Fertile cultivable land would be submerged.
® Total cultivable affected land under the reservoir is only
35,000 acres,(24,500 acres in Punjab 3,000 acres in
NWFP).irrigated land would be only 3,000 acres (2,900 acres in
Punjab and 100 acres in NWFP).
5. Population Dislocation
® Total population to be relocated is 120320 of which 78,170
shall be from Punjab and 42,150 from NWFP.
Resettlement of Affected Population will be properly
b. Apprehensions of Sind
1) No surplus water available to fill dam
2) Sindh will be turned into a desert.
3) High level outlets to divert water
4) Cultivation in riverine (Sailaba) will end.
5) Sea water intrusion
6) Mangrove forests are threatened
7) Fish production and drinking water problems
APPREHENSIONS OF SINDH
(1) No surplus water to fill Kalabagh Dam reservoir
® Annual average of 35 MAF escape below Kotri to Sea.
® Kalabagh Dam reservoir will be filled up by only 6MAF, which
will gradually be released to the provinces.
® Indus River System Authority (IRSA) has studied and
confirmed that sufficient water is available for further storage
® Surface flow annual 151 MAF
(2) Anxiety the project would render Sindh into desert.
® Dams don’t consume water! These only store water during
flood season and make it available on crop demand basis
® After Pakistan Dam, the canal withdrawals for Sindh would
further increase by about 2.25 MAF.
(3) Outlets would be used to divert water from the
® The project design must not include any provision for
® Telemetric system are working well which are installed at
each barrage and flow control points to monitor discharge in
various canals commands, on real time basis under the auspices
of Indus Water River System Authority (IRSA) and in all
(4) Cultivation in “Sailaba” areas would be effected
® Flood peaks above 300,000 cusecs would still be
coming after construction of Pakistan Dam, without
detriment to the present agricultural practices, while large
floods would be effectively controlled. This would, in fact,
be conducive to installation of permanent tube wells to
provide perennial irrigation facility in rive rain areas. The
farmer can have two crops annually instead of the present
(5) Sea Water intrusion estuary would accentuate.
® Data shows that sea water intrusion, seems to be at
its maximum even now, and it is unlikely to be aggravated
further by Pakistan Dam.