The Potohar Region needs hundreds of more mini dams as it is losing most of its annual 3.5 million acre feet of water due to lack of storage of infrastructure, resulting in large scale soil erosion, the agriculture experts said.
There is a dire need to construct hundreds of more mini dams in the region as the dams can help in flood mitigation, soil conservation and curtailing rural migration to overburdened cities.
A team of experts have pointed out that rainfall pattern in the Potohar region demands water harvesting, storage and supplemental irrigation for crops during the months of April to June and October to December. The runoff available in the Potohar plateau is 3.5 MAF, of which 0.10 MAF is utilised by small dams, mini dams and ponds. The remaining 3.4 MAF is going to the Indus and Jhelum rivers.
The Punjab government under ‘Kissan Package’ constructed 102 mini dams in Potohar Region during last two years with 174 water ponds, 39 water storage tanks, 81 gabion spur and 29 earthern bunds.
Talking to APP, Director of Soil Conservation Department Malik Ghulam Akbar said 80 percent subsidy was given to the farmers for the construction of all these schemes. Due to the water reservoirs and soil erosion controlling structures nearly 32,190 acres land was made cultivable in the region, he informed.
The construction of the mini dams and water ponds has also developed positive environmental effects. The underground water table is rising up with more employment opportunities for the people. Fish and cattle farming businesses are now flourishing in the region.—APP