Kala Bagh Dam: A Multi Purpose Project

Kalabagh Dam

Kalabagh Dam

Kala Bagh Dam is an ideal site. It is technically the most advantageous since water entering the Dam would have less silt, with bigger life span. Many local and international consultants, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have already shown their faith in the project. Kala Bagh Dam is a multipurpose project it will provide.

  1. Cheap Hydro Electricity Power.
  2. Additional Storage for irrigation supplies.
  3. Flood Alleviation
  4. Replacement of capacity lost at Existing reservoirs. 

     Cheap Hydro Electricity Power

Per capital consumption of energy in Pakistan is extremely low. Availability of energy is key for economic growth and development in Pakistan. Any change in the energy sector would have a direct impact on the water sector. The water sector is one of the principle users of electricity. So at the time of independence, Pakistan was largely dependent on hydro electric power from the Uhl River scheme in the Indian Punjab. These supplies were gradually withdrawn. Hence at present, the WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority), KESC (Karachi Electric Supply Corporation), KANUPP (Karachi Nuclear Power Plant) and CHASNUPP (Chasma Nuclear Power Plant) are the four main public sector organizations, involved in power generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the country.

The consumption of electricity is increasing rapidly. Power is an essential basic requirement for the development of Industries, large and small. The per capital electricity consumption of Norway stands at 5000 units per annum, Sweden and U.S.A. at 4500 units and Pakistan 324 units per annum. So the per capital consumption of energy in Pakistan is very low.

Though Hydro electricity is the cheapest means of energy. Power shortage has for the last several years made itself felt through load shedding, which not only adversely affects the production sectors of the economy but also worsens the quality of living. Now National Water Resources Development Program (NWRDP) has been formulated including multi-purpose projects. It is a package, including “Kala Bagh Dam project.”

Additional Storage for Irrigation Supplies

Pakistan’s agriculture depends on irrigation, because it is located in sub-tropical region and its climate is arid to semi arid and agricultural is not possible. Without irrigation, Irrigation plays a central role in Pakistan economy. Due to increasing population, industrial growth and increasing cropping intensity has increased the water demand. Hence to meet these challenges Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has prepared a grand development program known as vision 2025. Kala Bagh Dam project  a component of this program which will under taken by WAPDA for the benefit of the country.

Flood Alleviation

Periodical floods have caused widespread Damage to the national economy. So the yearly return of monsoon rains brings floods in rivers of Indus Basin. In 1973, the Indus floods inundated about 1.3 million acres with an estimated loss of Rs. 900 million. Floods of 1976 were of greater magnitude, where an area of 2.2 million acres was inundated with an estimated loss of Rs. 1,500 million.

Kala Bagh Dam will reduce the frequency and severity of flood Damage over its where stretch of 770 miles to the sea in downstream areas, the alleviation being particularly significant over the 300 river miles between the Dam and the Indus Panjnad confluence. Kalabagh reservoir will drawn down by the start of the monsoon flood season, so that some floods will absorbed by the reservoir and others. Average benefits  estimated as Rs. 144 billion per annum on June 1998 price level.

Replacement of Capacity Lost at Existing Reservoirs

The useful storage of Mangla, Terbela and Chashma reservoirs depleted due to the deposition in the reservoirs of large volume of sediment carried by the rivers. About 2.964 M.A.F of the storage capacity in these reservoirs would have lost due to sedimentation by the year 2000. Replacement of this sizable reduction could only come from a large reservoir like Kala  Bagh.

 Hence it recognized that these reservoirs have played an essential role in raising food grains production in Pakistan. So it imperative that such beneficial effects not only retained but reinforced. Kala Bagh Dam project would meet these requirements. The Kala Bagh Dam reservoir would have a very long life. The flow of benefits from this reservoir would be available practically on perpetual basis.