Environmentalists and experts on water conservation have suggested adoption of nature based solution of utilizing rainwater for recharging of fast declining groundwater level and also for mitigating serious problem of urban flooding in the country.
“Artificial ground water recharge techniques through rainwater harvesting and storage of flowing water in underground tanks have emerged as effective nature based solutions to tackle serious challenges of water scarcity in shape of rapid decline of water table and urban flooding causing damage to property and displacement of people,” they added.
These suggestions were presented during an interaction with a group of journalists gathered from four metropolises and capital city under a media fellowship jointly arranged by Institute of Urbanism (IoU), International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Pakistan, and Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (hbs). “In the prevailing weather conditions in Pakistan, people are faced with sever dryness for nine months while on other hand there is flooding caused due to sudden and erratic rains,” observed Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR).
To cope with this double whammy of water scarcity and severe flooding we have to opt for nature based solution of harvesting rainwater to fulfil our demand of essential commodity and to also avert water accumulation on roads, Dr. Ashraf proposed. “The severity of both dryness and flooding needs to be balanced by reducing the tilt from both sides through opting for nature based solutions,” he summarized.
He also apprised newsmen about encouraging results achieved through the initiative of rainwater harvesting by groundwater recharge wells set up in Islamabad by Capital Development Authority, recharging around 10 million gallons of water in few months. “Within four months of installation of first state of the art artificial groundwater recharge well at Kachnar Park in Islamabad by PCRWR and IWMI Pakistan through financial support of WaterAid, the water table in the area has shown an increase of 4.8 meters” disclosed Dr. Mohsin Hafeez, Country Representative – Pakistan, IWMI. “Up to 1.9 million gallons of water has been added to the aquifer against the rainfall of 589 mm from May – September 2022 alone,” Dr. Mohsin added.