Pakistan does not have enough water resources now in view of the rising demands, reduction in the supply of river water, continuous lowering of the underground water table and uncertain rainfall. A person needs 1000 cubic metres of water per year which was available several times earlier, but not now. That is why the UN declared 2003 to be the international year of fresh water.
India has been constructing barrages and installing hydroelectricity plants across the rivers flowing into Pakistan in violation of the Indus Basin Treaty of 1964. This has reduced the flow of water to us. The water flow from Afghanistan into Pakistan is also in danger of being reduced when she starts working on water storage projects on rivers flowing into our country.
The population is increasing fast. The supply of clean drinking (potable) water is not increasing. Farms and industries need more water as more land comes under cultivation and new industries are set up. The supply of canal water is decreasing. Tube-wells do not pull enough water as the water table underground is going down.
Factories and homes need cheap electricity. Electric energy is increasingly being produced by coal and gas, and so it is expensive. Electricity produced by water (hydroelectricity) is much cheaper, but we do not have enough dams for enhancing (increasing) its production. So, in the present situation, not only big dams like Kalabagh and Bhasha-Diamer, but also smaller dams and reservoirs are urgently required. These smaller dams will serve us well locally in water emergencies and possible wars.
We have a large number of flood-water streams in the Frontier and Punjab provinces. The underground streams in Balochistan are no secret. Small dams and reservoirs can be constructed at convenient places to store the water of these streams. This water can later by utilized for irrigation and other purposes. At the time of Independence, the small Namal dam on the Collar Nullah in the Mianwali District was the only reservoir in the country. Why can’t we build such dams now in a large number when we have greater facilities of digging and construction and ignore funds? The flow, fall. and force of the water in some of these dams and reservoirs can help us to generate hydroelectricity at cheap rates for local use.