In a significant move to tackle the persistent water scarcity issue in the federal capital, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has joined forces with the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) to initiate the construction of a new dam, ‘Dotara Dam,’ upstream of Khanpur Dam. This collaborative effort aims to provide Islamabad with a sustainable solution to its potable water shortage.
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Preliminary Study for ‘Dotara New Dam’ Underway
The ‘Dotara New Dam,’ projected to be 122 meters high and 350 meters long, is expected to kick off its construction journey after a pre-feasibility study. The cost for this initial study, approximately Rs 20 million, will be shouldered by the CDA, as Islamabad is the primary beneficiary of this water supply project.
During a recent meeting between Wapda and CDA officials, the proposed ‘Dotara Dam’ project was presented. According to the presentation, the new dam will have the capacity to store 0.1 million MAF (million acre feet) of water. It is expected to supply 72 million gallons per day (MGD) of potable water to Islamabad while generating 10 megawatts of hydropower.
CDA’s Vision for the Future
The CDA believes the ‘Dotara Dam’ project will revolutionize Islamabad’s water supply. The concept of “fetching water through gravity” was highlighted in the presentation, making it a unique and efficient addition to the city’s infrastructure.
Funding and Initial Steps
In response to the collaborative effort, Wapda suggested that the CDA commit to financing the project studies, which will enable the submission of an updated PC-II performa to the Ministry of Water Resources. The CDA chief stated that they have agreed to conduct a preliminary study of the ‘Dotara Dam’ project, with the CDA covering the associated costs due to Islamabad’s exclusive interest and need.
The Long-standing Water Scarcity Issue
Islamabad has grappled with a severe water shortage for the past two decades. Currently, the CDA provides approximately 70 MGD from three sources: Simly Dam, Khanpur Dam, and tube wells. This falls far short of the city’s requirement of about 220 MGD, exacerbating the need for alternative water sources.
Future Water Projects
In addition to the ‘Dotara Dam,’ the authorities are considering constructing a small new dam in the catchment areas of Simly, Khanpur, and Rawal Dams to store rainwater and reduce dependence on the opening of spillways during the monsoon season. The Ghazi Barotha project, designed to provide 100 MGD each to Rawalpindi and Islamabad, is also under discussion, subject to the provision of Rs100 billion in funding and completion within five years.
As the ‘Dotara Dam’ project moves forward, it promises to be a watershed moment in Islamabad’s quest for a sustainable solution to its potable water crisis. The collaboration between the CDA and Wapda signifies a step in the right direction towards ensuring a more water-secure future for the federal capital.