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Lahore Sets Up Underground Rainwater Storage System

Up north Khan’s government has launched three dams which besides water preservation and hydropower will provide flood management measures during monsoon.

When heavy rain comes pouring down, Pakistan’s urban areas are flooded with water, yet the country is facing a serious water crisis — mainly due to poor management rather than scarcity. To address the issue, the Lahore city management is all set to launch its first underground water storage system to collect rainwater for reuse and reduce flooding in the city of over 11 million. It will be the country’s first city-based water conservation and underground water mitigation initiative.

The Lahore Development Authority (LDA), in collaboration with its subsidiary Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA), has developed the first rainwater storage in the city to recharge the depleting groundwater resources. The project “Monsoon Underground Water Reservoir” that started in May and will be operational this month will help store 1.4 million gallons of water (100mm or 4 inches of rainwater). Built at a cost of about Rs150 million, the storage system is located near Lahore’s Lawrence Road — one of the areas flooded during heavy rain. The city receives an average annual downpour of 628-670mm (more than 24 inches).

Syed Zahid Aziz, managing director of WASA, said that in the first phase, “a 600-feet drain has been laid down connecting Lawrence Garden to the underground water reservoir. But if the tank overflows in case it rains the whole day, there is a second outer surface reservoir to contain over 0.2 million gallons of water” and even if the second reservoir fills up, there is another system to channel the water. The agency is keen to replicate the system throughout the city if the government approves funding.

Most of the collected water will be used to irrigate the Lahore city’s gardens and parks. The project will also help recharge the irreplaceable groundwater in the capital city of Punjab, which is exhausting at a faster rate due to excessive pumping and massive urbanization.

The country’s largest city Karachi –it’s economic powerhouse situated in the south along Arabian Sea shoreline, is facing similar crisis.

A recent report said “Heavy rain turns Karachi streets into rivulets”.

Up north Khan’s government has launched three dams which besides water preservation and hydropower will provide flood management measures during monsoon.

The South Asian country happens to be in the extremely high water stress region considered by some observers as one of the hot spots of climate change. Melting glaciers in the third pole (Himalayan and Hindukush ranges) pose water risk to 1.6 billion population in the area.

“We need to reduce wasting water, conserve, and reuse”, says a water resource expert”. That seems to have begun in Pakistan with Lahore taking the lead. “Hope Karachi follows”, says the Pakistani-American professional.

Heavy rain in Karachi last week.

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