THE water level at both Rawal and Simily dams — the only source of drinking water for Islamabad and Rawalpindi — falls drastically at this time of the year and we wait for the monsoons for these to be filled. With each passing year the situation is becoming worse.
While visiting Maryland recently, I observed that rainwater is harvested in man-made ponds, which replenish the underground water table. If a superpower with vast resources and technology is so conscientious about harvesting rainwater, why can’t we do the same? Why are we so callous towards the gravity of the situation?
The underground water table has depleted precariously over the years. In the sixties, water could be found at 40 to 80 feet around the twin cities. Now it is difficult to get clean drinking water even at 300 feet!
There used to be ponds/reservoirs/natural dams, which served as catchment areas and which replenished the underground water table. I remember one such pond was in Satellite Town Block C in Rawalpindi which is now a residential society.
Similarly, some natural catchments areas in newly developed colonies beyond Koral interchange have been converted into residential plots.
The awareness and importance of harvesting rainwater should be emphasised down to the school level. Citizens should be told to build underground water tanks to harvest rain water to be used in times of need. Meanwhile, immediate measures should be taken to build reservoirs to store water. It is time we thought in terms of conserving water to overcome the looming crisis.