Groundwater recharge tech ultimate solution to urban flooding drought: Experts

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Pakistan’s recent climate-induced flooding has given the world a wakeup call to come up with certain solutions to simultaneously tackle drought and urban flooding to avoid human catastrophes in the future.

The country’s experts cognizant to the issue have forcefully suggested on Monday to adopt groundwater recharge wells technology as a national policy to counter urban flooding and ensuing drought due to climate change.

The groundwater recharge well was a cost effective nature based solution to revive aquifer and mitigate the risk of urban flooding through most modern indigenous technology available.

The Institute of Urbanism, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and Pakistan Council for Research on Water Resources (PCRWR) and Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (HBS) organized media fellowship on Harvesting Rainwater for Urban Flood Management.

Chairman PCRWR Dr Muhammad Ashraf told APP that the groundwater recharge solutions were the need of the entire country. Especially in the prevailing floods that occurred in an unprecedented fashion in Pakistan, he added.

Dr Ashraf said Pakistan was facing environmental degradation as in one season it had dryness and in other there were floods.

The rainwater storage solutions like artificial lakes at housing societies or artificial recharge wells would help manage rainwater, he said, adding, “60% agriculture use water is coming from groundwater resources. We will have to either reduce groundwater extraction or increase water table recharge”.

Dr Ashraf elaborated that watershed management was imperative for flood and drought management whereas catchment area enhancement was also crucial for this purpose. The artificial recharge wells’ purpose was to intercept rainwater near catchment area and inject it into groundwater well. “It will help save water from evaporation, ponding and pollution.”

He informed that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) was establishing 100 recharge wells and 20 monitoring stations from its own resources in the federal capital which showed the intention and motivation of the civic body after successful implementation of the pilot projects.

“Out of which 50 recharge wells have conserved 10 million gallons water which at first replenished the groundwater and then reduced Nullah Lai flooding. If the same 10 million gallons of water was dumped into Nullah Lai then it would have resulted in urban flooding and inundation of roads,” he underlined.

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