ISLAMABAD - The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has initiated 10 new projects which would provide about 35,000 job opportunities during the construction.

These projects would also be enhanced hydel generation capacity to cross 18,000 MW with an addition of 9,000 MW, a Wapda source said. Wapda has initiated 10 projects aimed to enhance the gross water storage capacity in the country from 13 million acre-feet (MAF) to more than 24 million MAF which would be also sufficient to irrigate another 1.6 million acres of land.

The Wapda projects include five dams, three hydropower projects, one canal, and one water supply scheme that were under construction which would be completed in a phased manner from 2023 to 2029. Diamer Bhasha Dam, Mohmand Dam, Dasu Hydropower Project, Nai Gaj Dam, Kachhi Canal Extension, Sindh Barrage, and K-IV Project were among the projects, said official sources. The per capita water availability in Pakistan had come down from 5650 cubic meters to an alarming level of 908 cubic meters per annum, pushing us to the stage of a water-scarce country. In order to tackle the impending water scarcity, we need to have more water storage besides practicing good water conservation and management strategies, he said.

Wapda expedites work on Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project

Meanwhile, the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has expedited the development work on the much awaited 72 megawatts Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project that would increase power generation, irrigation and employment opportunities for the locals. .

The Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project is located at Keyal Khwar Nullah, a tributary of the Indus River in Lower Kohistan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that has around 72 megawatts (MW) electricity generation capacity. Talking to mediamen, an official of WAPDA said that there were two turbine units of 34MW each and one unit of 4MW installed at Khan Khwar Hydroelectric Station with an average annual generation capacity of 595 million units (GWh) of cheap electricity.

In the current financial year, around Rs 1,084 million has been allocated for the execution of the project. The hydropower project would channelize emission less energy and business opportunities for the locals by promoting fisheries and tourism opportunities, the official added.